the sound of laughter,
falling from his mouth, it collapses the air in surges that dispel silence
whispering a lost moment
it reaches my ear, tickling the air, a shiver.
a cup with chipped paint and brim
my fingertip traces all the tiny valleys and dry gristle texture of baked clay under the glaze.
days that hold the continual witnessing of balding stray dogs, children on the streets
diapered, and draping over a protruding hip,
thin, white cotton T-shirts, tiny snaps embedded in the shoulders,
their mothers in tight, worn denim and new sneakers,
their lips greased with burgundy
before it dries or is smeared off, the day is over.
Flesh speaks in this way, held under
the fallow position of momentary events spreading the circumstance of corners
their voices blow out the color of my hearing
in the mashed child-women here,
their laughter taps rapidly,
(fingertips drumming on countertops, waiting)
jarring the cups that hold the voices defining their motherhood.