Saquina Karla C. Guiam is a writer from General Santos City, Philippines. Her works are featured/forthcoming on Dagmay, The Rising Phoenix Review, The Fem Lit Mag, Transcending Shadows Review, Werkloos Mag, and The Machinery. She's currently working on her first poetry collection manuscript (still untitled) and a couple of chapbooks (Brightworn and Leviathan).

Saquina Karla C. Guiam's website.

Also by Saquina Karla C. Guiam: Legend of the Sampaguita Maria Skin

June 15, 2016

Saquina Karla C. Guiam


I. Your father wasn't born the same way as us, said my cousins. I asked, how then? And they told me grandfather split open bamboo, found a crying babe in its hollow. No, that's someone else! said one cousin. Uncle was found inside the biggest coconut fruit — there are suddenly voices flying, my cousins giving different versions of one thing. I believed them. II. Mother said grandfather left her and grandmother because the local river was too wide for grandmother to cross and too narrow for grandfather to wade through. Mother found grandfather years after grandmother left behind ashes and when he came to our house I was scared because the blood is the same yet the song is not, so I became a little ghoul in lightless corners. Grandfather left us a year later, mother knew when she woke up to the smell of his favorite cologne. I expected the sky to share mother's grief — instead, both our throats burned and our eyes were dry pools. III. You do not remember the house you grew up in. What you do remember is the cousin who lives there with her girlfriend and the girlfriend's family for whom your cousin works. Father tells you your cousin is held at sword-point, gun-point. Your uncle tells you she has become a ghost. You do not tell them the house is the ghost.

"Tapestry" was born from when I participated in Winter Tangerine's Sing That Like Dovesong workshop. The last assignment was about family and I decided to write about mine: how my father doesn't have a birth certificate and my cousins told me that he came from the hollow of a bamboo or another tree, my mother's biological father who disappeared before she was born and appeared a year before his death, the house I lived in for seven years and forgot and now a family (who are the prime suspect of the Maguindanao Massacre in 2009) and disowned cousin lives there.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published weekly by Glass Poetry Press. All contents © the author.