I crane my neck and thumb the pages
Of a little red book
The words dance through my head as my back stings
It aches from the curve I draw it into
But my eyes are pulled to the yellowed text
And the sun lays dimly behind my window
For a second, the stillness is interrupted
I smell the dark bitterness that comes from the kitchen
I can smell the coffee through the old tin abuela gave us on the stove
Above the tiled floors
Through the cement walls in my hallway
And past my old wooden door
It cuts through the incense that walks so confidently around my room
I straighten my spine
My back makes the same sound a music box does when you wind it up
And my mother opens the door
“Toma” she says
As she hands me the little white cup
She’s tired too
I can tell from the way her hand only lifts slightly from the handle
I can tell when she closes the door again
How quietly it snaps back into its frame
I stare down the blackness of the little cup
And I wonder how she’s doing

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