When I found my mother throwing dishes at the mortar wall behind our house, she said only, “I forgot these once belonged to my mother.” In her hand was the pale blue dish, speckled like a bird’s egg. Once upon a time, I’d stamped my feet if anyone else ate from it. Watching my mother hurl that dish, I thought of that Duchamp painting, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2. The curves of the figure’s hips and buttocks, the metronomic swing of her legs and arms—all multiplied. Or is she disassembled? Shattered like a dish thrown against a brick wall.