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  • Writer's pictureShamari

The song only I've ever heard...until now

My mother doesn't know it, but she's featured on every song I've listened to since the morning of July 15, 2018. Not as light and airy as Mariah's. Her raspy tone blends almost perfectly with Teyana's and Lauryn's. My mother harmonizes with Solange. I hear her voice behind Beyoncé:

What would she be doing?

What would she be thinking?

My mama asked me those questions about my late sister on what would have been her 23rd birthday (July 15th). I can't answer those questions. I can't forget them either. They have now become the soundtrack of my life. A new song. Inspired by my sister. Vocals offered by my mother. Somehow, those questions center me. They remind me why I'm here. They give me strength. They shield from long, dark bouts of nothingness. A sacrifice of sorts. When my sister transitioned four years ago, I was reborn. When her eyes eyes did the opposite. What are you doing? What are you thinking? I'm thinking of remixing my mama's song with some of my own lyrics. Questions. Is Buffy the vampire slayer still one of your favorite shows? Do you still hate peach cobbler? Are you proud of who I am? What am I thinking? What am I doing? Is this right? The song no one ever listens to. The one that gets skipped every year during Grammy's season. A song that only I've ever heard...until now.

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