by Kylie Ayn Yockey
Golden hour June light filters past peach fuzz
kissing the top of her head—
Her mama’s May baby,
plump, pink, smooth of newborn pruning.
Cradled rocked and raised,
apple-eyed and cherub-faced.
I met her in September kindercare,
missing-mom tears tracking her cheeks.
She glowed gold and tangerine,
summertime freckles kissing fragile shoulders.
We shared crayons candy crushes,
caught fireflies every cool October evening.
When my girl first kissed boy on a New Years
under eighth grade illegal fireworks,
the same night another pair of male lips
met my quick turn to cheek—
I looked over to her to see if amber eyes
were turning to look see see me back,
but hers were crinkled shut against someone else.
Between college prep and final rival games,
we drank moonshine in party-cloudy March moonlight.
Poured over the rail of her back deck,
I poured professions and confessions.
Silently she held my hair back while I poured
my guts and her mama’s collard greens back up into porcelain sink.
She waited til I was mumbling apologies around my toothbrush
to kiss me.
Golden hour July light filters past peach fuzz
kissing the top of her upper lip.
I kiss the crown of her head,
nuzzle into her hair’s summer heat.
Sprawling legs on dash and
hand in my wheel-free own,
halfway across nation and country
with all our luggage bushelled in the trunk.
It’s hard to watch the road and her as she hollers to radio beats,
voice dripping as we beat and roll along.
She is unafraid and I feel free—
We are the tumbling weeds