The Killing

There is a house of God / a house of salvation / a house of that brief moment, where a butterfly comes and flaps its wings in your upturned palms / as if God threaded Their fingers with yours / as if the distance between heaven and earth was just / slivers of a touch.

Think about that house / amidst an eternal blooming / a constant summer / the rain coming in bursts / to feed all who grow / the sun and the moon and the stars / carving / true paths towards / a sanctuary.

Now think / of that house / up in flames / not immediately / not sudden as / the snap of a finger / but like / a cold front / sinking into your skin / imagine the descent of your temperature / as if mercury got dragged down by gravity / and that house burns / smoke becoming night sky / becoming void / becoming non-existence made manifest.

It is Tuesday / when the men disappear / when they abandoned clothing under duress / when they dug holes in the ground / in the shape of themselves / when the women disappear / when red becomes / the stuff of nightmares / red trickling down / red becoming rivers / when the children disappear / gunshots turned lullabies / when childhood is bottled up / thrown, discarded, trashed / when a bullet becomes / the only painkiller worth a damn.

A house / a village / turned abattoir / some survive / carry those who passed / to their hearts / remain haunted / trauma takes flight / a wingspan across generations / it echoes in volumes / an inheritance of ghosts / in every birth / a pale shadow / is a constant companion / you grow up / and they grow with you / at night / the dreams / are no longer / just yours / to cup in your hands.

About Author

Saquina Karla C. Guiam is from the Philippines. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Transcending Shadows Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Fem Lit Mag, Outlook Springs, Crab Fat Magazine, and others. She is the Roots nonfiction editor of Rambutan Literary and the Social Media Manager for Umbel & Panicle. Her website is

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