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Seventy x Seven by Andrea Y Rodriguez

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Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

                   Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.”

Matthew 18:21-22 KJV


Praise those mothers who when naming their sons

did not know they would be laid to rest

in the nation of our black tongues


It is to these Women

we pledge

our allegiance


Praise the cheekbones grated free by city curbs

n’ the innocence seeping into the rear floors

of those 4×4 Fords


Please tell me

you understand

what I am saying


In the breath between sin and baptism

I can smell their pleas, and all of them

smell of their mother’s milk


Mend those knees of sisters set in gravel

spines snatched by canvassed brothers and

the daddies rendered mute in sterile morgues


Mend the ears that heard his cry

calling her name, mine

and Mary’s too


I ask you again Lord, please praise ‘em.


BIO: Cleveland native Andrea Y. Rodriguez is an Afro-Latina writer based in Chicagoland. She graduated in Fall 2021 with her B.A. in English from Lewis University. Rodriguez is a 2022 Best Small Fiction nominee and has been featured in FEED,  Jet Fuel Review, Ghost Heart Literary Journal, The Rise Up Review, and elsewhere. Rodriguez currently works as a Human Resource Specialist for Fountaindale Public Library.

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