WHAT IT TAKES

One way to learn about love, what it takes, is through how your brother and his wife feed their baby.

She barely sucks the warm liquid flowing from the inside of her mother, but there is a pumping machine attached to her breasts. That way, the milk can be measured to its very ounces.

She carefully fills the bottles with pumped milk. Then another machine is used to keep them warm, until the child is ready to be fed. Meanwhile, the baby girl would often be sound asleep in her singing carriage,

until she wakes up, forgets about the mother’s breasts and forgets her tongue.

I used to have bottles, too, filled with the water splashing out from a large basin when he tried to drown my 3-month-old dog, for her didn’t stop barking in a dark, stormy evening. Then, what it takes to learn about love are the dog’s howls and basin’s water, because my mom always fed me with her breasts.

Neither did I forget about my tongue,

for my tongue was once my mother’s, she was on her knees, begging her God for something else to end up in her womb, but that something remembers her tongue, her breasts, the dog, a halfway-traveled prayer,

and even her God; unexpected —

what it takes for love to be learnt.

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