We turn dandelion suns into heads of tufted wishes,
then watch them blow away. We know it's never easy—
the things we want, made from our labor and the drive
to push beyond the moment's reach. I am three
when my mother walks with me to a house on Palma
street; she has agreed to have conversation drills
with Miss A., the music teacher who speaks 
no English, in exchange for voice lessons for her, 
solfeggio and piano for me. Do-re-mi-fa-sol-la, her house 
smells of faded violets and the inside of dusty hatboxes; 
she herself is a study in modern confusion and old world 
manners. My mother puts her palms together and holds 
them lightly against her diaphragm, pulling her voice 
with the lungs, aiming for at least two octaves higher.

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