Michael A. de Armas: The Switch

Yes it’s true you can break things,
I tell my younger daughter one night, who,
after crying in her crib in our room
without much result, turns the light switch
on and off and so makes her need known
to an entire city block, even boats out in the bay
see the wild flicker of her distress.
Be careful, gorda, you can break the light switch that way,
which turns her need into a breakable object,
which gives her incentive to break it. Christ
she can’t even stand up yet. After she falls asleep, I ask myself,
is she writing with the light switch her language
in the middle of the night; or, is she translating
what she has learned so far of ours?

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