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.

About the author…

Margaret Pearcy Fleming is from Dallas, Texas. Currently, she is studying to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry with New York University while also participating in the Writers Workshop in Paris Program. Additionally, Margaret works as a Program Officer at a family foundation. She enjoys singing and is fascinated by the science of sound, which often finds its way into her work. When Margaret was younger, she worked and studied in Managua, Nicaragua where she lived with a family. Both of her host parents were Sandinista soldiers. Often, her experiences abroad also find their way into her writing as they regularly intersect with current issues and people she cares for deeply.