Secret Keepers

By Cindy Velasquez

Illustration by Josua S. Cabrera
Illustration by Josua S. Cabrera

When you arrive home, you look up and down. Not to seek for untamable secrets and changes, but to return to a familiar space, silky to the nose: the scent of your mother. And yes, those guava trees you watered before, those trees have perfumed the aging floor of the living room like glimpsing the steam of the rosy moringa tea. You bring stories from your feet like the first time you walked. But I wish today is the first time you learn how to talk because I know the very first syllable you will say. Although, the walls in your bedroom still have its earthy companion: woody, musty, searching for the outdoors.

The windows remain oniony and garlicky mostly when Christmas and New Year appear. Yet, it takes time to learn how to cook for one person. Sometimes, I intentionally scatter curry powder near the sink because you love its strong odor and color. Those burnt and nutty doors, they miss your hands. Oftentimes, I do not close the back door in the morning especially when I cook champorado with the tuyo. And those keys, the minty plants in the front door are still their secret keepers. But I never said it.

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