A baby does not know she exists
on the surface of this green earth
until she finds a mirror.
The notion of “I” blooms within her
as she confronts the brown of her eyes,
until her plump arms rise and fall
in accordance to her own inner
choreography. A baby approaches herself,
presses forehead and lips and hands
against the glass, expecting
the touch of flesh, warmth.
A child does not know she exists
separately from the rest until
she confronts the blue that she
cannot swim in, eyes unlike hers,
until she notices that her skin
does not have the shine of pearl
as others do. She wants both pearl
and blue — to hold close what feels
soft in rough hands. A child
knows what it is to be wanted:
it is what she will leave
at the feet of a another
girl: wonder and kindness
and the inability to see
beyond the opaque of
blue and pearl. It looks so pretty
at school, and on the TV too.
A child approaches
the coveted pearl,
presses lips and hands against
the glass screen of the TV.
It is cold, as remembered.
A girl will begin to recognize
parts of herself in her beloved,
who reflects her own of marbled
skin. She will reach out
and touch the soft, wrinkled browns
of her beloved, taste herself in her folds,
allowing trimmed fingers to feel the tangles
of her beloved’s thick hair. How could she
have hated the sight of sprouting hairs,
signs of life and flesh — how could she
have disdained this color
which becomes honey in sunlight?
She will kiss this reflection
and it will feel so warm.