Pat Mora–Sonrisas

I live in a doorway

between two rooms, I hear

quiet clicks, cups of black

coffee, click, click like facts

budgets, tenure, curriculum,

from careful women in crisp beige

suits, quick beige smiles

that seldom sneak into their eyes.


I peek

in the other room señoras

in faded dresses stir sweet

milk coffee, laughter whirls

with steam from fresh tamales

Sh, sh, mucho ruido,[1]

they scold one another,

press their lips, trap smiles

in their dark, Mexican eyes.



[1] A lot of noise