after grocery shopping, Ma tastes a storm
on her skin. tucks plums under her red scarf,
tiny planets warming against breastbone.
sky bruising like a smoker’s lung, the blueshift
of puddle under our feet. the way Ma’s
gait slows, like unlearning a waltz she once
loved. somewhere, a gutter spits a hurricane
through rusted teeth. somewhere, a streetlamp
braids a homeless boy into light. he spreads
his arms like wildfire to dry the city, traces
his cheekbone to decipher a braille of raindrops.
each crease of his face a ravine, a whisper
of landslide we’re not meant to know.