A cat’s toes in morning sunlight,
when you realize that they are pink
and black, mottled as pebbles, and
that you’ve never touched them.
How you’d like to, now.
My hairy big toes with blue polish,
chipped, and all the other toenails
long since mostly denuded of polish.
The word nude is in there somewhere,
and that’s how I feel: exposed.
My daughter’s toes, how she brags that
they’re as long as fingers, that she can
pick things up with them. My son’s toes,
how he wiggles them, announces that
Popcorn is popping, which is my cue
to nibble them. They do not yet know,
my children, that toes are anything to hide.
They are naked in this way, and innocent as cats.