alejandrodini_3244322343) it was among those songs she listened to on nights her mother made her pepper soup. it was when Yuku was sick or when she had been beaten and this soup was the only way Sweni could show her that she was still loved. it was when the hot comb had burned her ears and edges too many times and Sweni watched while she sipped, running her fingernails through her daughter’s now straight and stiffened hair. “I have your soup,” Sweni whispered, though there was no need. “Mm hm.” Yuku cleared her throat and wiped her face with her pillow before sitting up. “What song is this, Yuku?” Sweni asked but Yuku could not speak. She swallowed hard and took the bowl from Sweni’s hand. “Be careful, it’s hot.” Yuku took the spoon and drank–let the metal burn her lips, the pepper unseal her senses. “What song is this?”

1) she had left with him one night Juli took her back with him and changed on his farm he walked ten feet ahead of her barely spoke never kissed did not like her or call her beautiful walked ten feet ahead except when they had guests who he was careful to show how good he could be,

how sweetly he could walk

how beautiful she was

how tender the words

how good he could be

4) “I don’t remember the name of it.” Yuku sniffed. She closed her eyes. Sweni closed her eyes too. “try to remember. please try to remember.” “I used to know this song” “You used to sing and you stopped.” Sweni said. Yuku drank again. “You used to sing this song.” “Too much soup makes me lose my voice.” “That’s not true.” “Too much soup and I’ve stopped singing.” “What is this song?” “I am not sure” “You stopped singing” “too much ” “Then run from here and find it.

Then leave.

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