Defeat comes in the dawn of mourning as silence slips off lips of a midwife. / She wipes a mother's blood against her ivory print lappa—their fingers paint misery. / Before her first was born, six sahsahs rattled, yet no one cries to carry spirit. / Maybe if she would stop chewing off her fingernails, blood would have a chance to dry. / Women in her family only know love through sacrifice. / They raise children that other mothers produce—sharing milk of their still-born to save futures of a fading village. / When she washes, she scoops shadows from her skin. / No one mentions that her insides smell like callery pear trees. / No praise songs here. / There are hums in winds that carry wanderers to far away cities. / Tonight, she drags offerings towards Lake Piso, mixing palm oil between remnants of her openings. / Each cavity transports phantoms that do not transition well. / Maybe next lifetime, she will return as a man, so when her children eject out of her openings, she does not bleed for centuries. /