Her two front teeth are missing.
Her bangs are jagged,
uneven from where she cut them with scissors
when no one was looking.
“I want to be like you
when I grow up.
You sew and you cook me eggs.”
I play Spanish music on the radio,
she sits in the backseat dancing
like a whirlwind, unrestrained.
I wish she could stay this way.
“When I’m older will I still like applesauce?”
She is beginning to grasp the idea of aging.
“And will I still like soup?”
She says, “I’m going to be big and tall like you
when I grow up!”
She always wants to help me cook,
so I let her pour measured flour.
She tells me, “You should open a restaurant,
your cooking is good.”
All she wants when she is four:
to be a dog. She crawls around on hands and knees,
barks, pants, and will roll over on command.
She puts her face into a bowl of pasta
raises her head to bark, sauce and gobs of tomato
color her face red.
She loves to wear makeup now
and blushes when I say,
“You know you’re beautiful without it, right?”
Still, she asks me to paint her nails.
“Do you want to have kids?”
When I ask her if she wants nieces or nephews
she replies, “No.”