The woman who might have been her mother never broke a smile. Her face would have crumbled, shed down into the abyss of a dirt road and the glint of sun, down into the earth. And if she had smiled and her face had broken it would have climbed down, all those pieces, far into the dust and the difficulties, and become a star inside the world, underneath the bed of road, the route, the path, hidden beneath the soft shoe of feet and rhythms, the bearing down sun.
She did not smile. And her face did not break. And nothing became stars or climbed into the earth, down inside the world, underneath her walking road, nothing pregnant with her fragments, nothing happening, no story at all except her and her unsmiling face, placid and unbroken.
words: J.A. Tyler, Colorado (aboutjatyler, mud luscious, new chapbook)