An Ode to Baby Naomi Kai
When I touch my lips to your soft cheek I think of how I’m kissing myself.
Those cheeks are mine, girl
They puff out so big in smile or pout
and that nose
That nose is mine too, with tiny nostrils round and perfectly tucked in brown skin
and those eyes, the way they slant, they are mine too.
Although that color comes from daddy
the way it’s brighter in the sun when you turn your face up to mine.
When I look down at you I want to kiss those eyelids with their whisper thin skin,
how they reflect me, and tear
and light up when you see me
and that forehead, I can’t lie, It’s all daddy.
It’s wide and big and will one day be called a fivehead and yet, I kiss it too
But when I press my lips to your crown I know that hair is all mine.
The silky smooth brown, the rust red, the blonde at your temples and at the tips of your lashes
and the blonde at the nape of your neck that’s barely there – slowly turning to night.
And your ears, your ears are mine, the way they hug against your skull to burrow closer to your thoughts.
When I touch my lips to your shoulder to smell your sweet breast milk scent
I think of how you’re like my elbow
So close to me and yet so far away
So vital to me, the hinge that pulls love closer, holds love tight
Because you are me, when I kiss you.
You came from me and yeah, your daddy too
And I wonder if it means he pecks against my cheek when he’s kissing you.
When I grab your thighs to pinch them for giggles you’re all me
They are thick like mine and taper into strong little legs that are mine too
with defined baby calves.
And those feet, I kiss your toes one at a time because each one is as adorable as the next,
But, sweet thing, they are your daddy’s feet and I’m just so sorry.
Square and thin, with long nails that curl slightly under, and straight across from big to pinky
How’d you get those toes, girl? All daddy-like and strong.
When I push a finger into your bloated belly you giggle and slap my hands away.
Then grab to pull me closer because you aren’t sure what you want
and that’s all me too
Because of you I have a little belly, too. One daddy used to rub when you were in there
Kicking and punching and asking to come out to play.
So our bellies are the same but, curse the nurses from the day you were born, that belly button is all daddy
It looks like a button, one we shined smooth because we thought a quarter would help with the shape.
And when you walk around poking it in, sticking it out, chattering to yourself,
we laugh to think of all the coins we could’ve saved.
When I say ‘kisses’? You lean forward and open your mouth wide
And we dodge, side to side, hoping to not receive slobber for our time
And you catch us every moment with a swipe of the tongue.
Because you are all me and you love love
You want to get closer to me, crawl into me, get beneath my skin,
to hold your arms around my throat and lie your head on my shoulder.
Which you have of mine too, the stocky build of my body, the lack of feminine curve,
And you press tear streaked cheeks to mine, then you smile and wipe that momma’s nose against my neck.
And I pat your booty, your poor flat booty
Girl, I’m sad to say that’s mine too.
But it’s okay because I love everything about my body.
Which means, my dear girl, that
I also love everything about you.