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She knows his ears are undamaged, because he flinches at the slamming door. Yet he doesn’t speak, or look up at speech; he seems to have forgotten how to listen.

Usually Maya takes her strays to the hospital when she’s done what she can, but this boy’s different. His wounds cannot be seen. Medicine isn’t what he needs.

Maya resigns herself to some of her oldest remedies. She gives him a quiet cot and begins to work with time and a spoon, clearing the filth from his lungs and reminding his blood of life: honey and onions, then hot spiced wine.