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The song was taken from our midwife’s basement.

Soham Patel

We took it upstairs so we could memorize it by the morning light. She said we would know what to do. There were notes we had never heard before. We put them in sequences and the sequences produced cartoon images in our heads of sheep one-by-one jumping over fences. It was a time for the rhythm’s tension turn to infinite. It was a time for calming. I put myself into a line many melodies draw. It is similar to the speed of sound but it is not loud. It excited most of the children to a point of unstoppable laughter. You boiled dogwood and vervain then lined the whole house with fleece. But nothing worked and the laughing and laughing went on and on. The song was never an adventure or do we have it wrong, was it always an adventure? We descended the staircase again to find her. Knowing the newborns would be sleeping or up with colic. She demonstrated with movements of her hand and humming. We knew which notes to play or had an idea at least but we did not know if the instruments were still in tune or how to tune them without a machine. We knew if we closed our eyes like we always do just before and just after the apex draws near, there could never be anything else but a synonym for devotion in the room. When we sing soft from the middle of our bodies, quiet finds alternate ways to escape the body and a feeling of elation sends into new atmospheres. I mean that singing always helps but only when from the very middle of our insides. It is never the volume that matters most but the rate at which we let the sound out—as in we let it out hard and sometimes it is smooth and until we are exhausted.

Soham Patel

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