After he died there was still her brother and sister to feed. His two pearls, mouths open and hungry at the table, one older and one younger. My mother was expected to hold them all together upon her tongue. With every fall of the cleaver, I could hear my mother spelling out grief. Crabs thrown alive into the metal basin. Their scrabbling salted the room gray, dried up any tears before they could bulb. I felt relief when I heard the crack of her mallet on the shell, a spot she told me many times was an instant kill. I can’t tell you where that tender fissure lives. I was never looking when she pointed this out. I was always halfway out of the door.