by Doriana Diaz

The slaughter was on Sunday morning.

The women in the church gathered around the exterior of the fence.

We cracked the pool of blood over the skulls of freshly fed mouths.

Killing would keep the copious amounts of blood

from oozing out of their nail beds

as they separate cells from bone,

digging through into/out of them.

I won’t have to teach her how to scrub the pain from her throat.

I won’t have to teach her how to pray.

I can silence the sounds


of their memories dropping into sea on their way

to auction bids and body invasions.

Her womb will never know the aching of a forced/unwanted/mistaken fetus.

None of them will be shackled to the ship boards

with their lips dry like sugar cane from Louisiana meadows.

I saved her before she would jump or drown herself like the igbo.



offspring belong to god now.

She is a distilled heart

that I will keep in the palm of my hand.