The giggles start just before
my fingers touch her body.
A light stroke across the belly
contracts her small muscles
so she can absorb this joy
yet she doesn’t know why
she wriggles and contorts herself
away from me. Why do I crave this?
It is nearly impossible to self-tickle.
I have tried, but I can’t surprise myself,
I never could. I look at her liquid-center eyes
and wish her rising moon would fall
before her older brother uses it
to intimidate her into submission,
before it becomes the clumsy fumbling
for the boys in her teenage years,
long before it turns to the erotic,
before it becomes foreplay.
She doesn’t understand the impulses
that creates pleasure are born out of pain.
She simply delights in my touch.
Says give me more without saying a word.
I give her this unspoken guarantee—
this is how we learn to love the dark.