I don’t really like children.
When
Princess’s fall from a low pink wall
causes
flustered grownup kisses
cause
symbiotic toddler tears
I wonder what learning to feel a skinned knee is like.
If she learns that skinned knees are important, worthy of kisses
Will she learn to feel anything else?
Will Princess spend her adult life with her knee dimly skint?

Or maybe she is learning to trust her skin.
The fluttering grownups must believe that the red mark is the truth-
That when skin whispers pain, it is important, and that Princess should listen.

I can understand my clumsy hand when I brush it on a hot oven grate making pizza
I can translate the braille a kidney stone makes with its cleats
The way I can understand a man gesticulating panic in Russian or Chinese.
But I don’t speak the language of my body.
Maybe Princess will be a prodigy.
Maybe she is learning to play chess with her body and win.
Maybe when Princess is grown, being kissed by all the king’s men,
Her skin will tell her instantly whether she likes it or not
And whether she should stop.