I call to ask my mother the name of the street where we bought the suitcases when we left
Brooklyn. A better question would have been how did it feel to be sliced from the rib of Pine and
Loring and sent, like a kite, up North. Or tell me what your mother said to you in her grand rear
room the night we left, seated on the edge of her bed in her nightgown, muted in the low light.
So many bellies in the house. Cacophony of kreyol and Brooklyn buk and sweet sweat across the
walls. Did she tell you to follow your husband. Did she tell you anything about us. How, above
all, you should keep us anchored to here, where the distance between comfort and safety is
measurable by the length of the hallway, the distance from one room to the next. The rooms, like
capsules, each with its own medicine for Black kids. Or, tell me what you wore on the plane
ride. I only remember what I wore: stockings and Mary Janes and the pink knit pleated skirt. I did
not remember this was your first time flying, a grown woman over thirty, and you had never seen
how small the world looked beneath your feet.