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Three soldiers, two killed by their own guns, the third by asphyxiation. Under the berries ripening in haste: a crimson chest, a shattered groin, a snapped neck. And no moon, not even a firefly now to light the men’s frozen stare, this attempt to memorise the final tableau so they can take it to the other side. It was stingy dark in the coffee grove, a no-face night. One went by feel alone.
Listen to that night when the soldiers came to take me to the river, and how the coffee grove detained us. Tony, I want you to hear my history. I want you to know my village beyond your brief, foreign idyll into war. To know the heart of terror and grief, of love—not yours but theirs. I want to wrap you in my hair, these strands that would not stop growing into story after story, into all that I remember of my village in 1987 and the years before. Stories that can save, that can kill.