Where Does Sound Travel?
for David Zeledón
by Margaret Fleming
In Texas, I stand by a baby monitor,
audio waves and linens move in unison.
I watch her chest until I am convinced
she is no longer breathing, her sighs quiet.
I run upstairs to catch the wind in her body.
If this world heard
the way a mother hearkens
to her child—would it listen?
On TV, a Nicaraguan woman carries water
in a milk jug, dumping it on a masked man’s
face. Liquid bullets shower the hot cement.
The Nicaragüenses who taught me to speak
Spanish are shouting in the street.
Tear-gas fills their eyes, lungs,
the mouths of their young.
Crowds gather in the capital like flames
in a grassland while police wildly fire
their guns into the air, and slingshotted
stones fly toward their plastic shields.
Once, in Managua, I lay face-up next to David,
high above the neighborhood bomba,
listening to the rats as they ran along the roofline.
I raised my hand, pointing my finger at the sky,
while earth swallowed our final light.
I keep this moon within me.
Some days, during naptime, I can still hear the outcry,
claws scraping the tin panels, and I am motionless.