between them
like the moment before a wink,
like a quiet after the final note,
or a star captured only in the corner of the eye.
Like a snowflake falling between their lips:
which the breath from a word spoken aloud
would simply


Morning vignette #4

A young black woman in maroon hospital scrubs walks behind the wheelchair on 23rd Street and 9th Avenue.

Her arms are coffee brown, smooth as the skin on eggplant. Her eggplant-skin glistens in the 80-degree sun. Her hair is in corn-rows, tightly woven and neat.

The woman in the wheelchair has wiry grey hair, like steel wool that has been left under an enamel kitchen sink in an abandoned tenement. Her cheeks, with marbles in them, jiggle as the wheelchair hits the bumps and pocks in the sidewalk concrete. Jutting from her mouth, a white lollipop stick points down the block to where she’s heading.

artwork: J bradford