ci suba: in the morning
Today, I don’t have class until after lunch, and I get to spend the morning at home, playing with the babies Ndèye Fatou and Fatima, both too young to be in school.
I find myself on the second-floor balcony with Ndèye Fatou. Although the midday heat has already crept up on the day, out here on the balcony it is shady and cool and the morning breeze flutters across our faces. Bougainvillea climb the intricate ironwork of the balcony rail, forming a trembling trellis of delicate tissue paper flowers in pink, white, and coral. The colors match the pale orange paint on the house’s exterior and the little hair ties in Ndèye Fatou’s braids. She runs on her fat little legs and picks bougainvillea flowers, clutching them in her chubby palm.
Kaay, she says. Together we kneel next to the railing and lean our hands out and the petals spiral down into the dusty street like butterfly wings, carried lightly by the wind.