Maria by Saquina Guiam


Illustration by Jon Pattle

somebody tells you: “too many restrictions,
her parents’ rules were enough of a chokehold
to make her pack her things and run away.”
somebody interjects: “no, no, her husband
put his hands on her and squeezed!”
overheard: “her children died” or “she wasn’t
able to conceive.”

the butcher tells me her perfume doesn’t
smell right, as if underneath the flowers
something dead lingered there. the old lady
by the chapel says her shadow’s crooked,
bent at the wrong angles, a too wild darkness.

every month, a child disappears. every month,
they crucify her with accusations pouring from their
tongues. every month, a moon rises, blood-stained
and whole; she pulls her blankets closer to her chest.
every month, someone’s son or daughter is on the
ground, with their throats open to the sky,
and something that passes as their parent
(or used to be) lies on the grass and
coating the leaves
a muddy black, sticky tar.

every month, her back and shoulders ache
from the weight of never saving anyone
on time. you’d think, they’d be grateful
to the lone woman, taking all their salt
and spit, and putting it to good use.

About the Author


On Maria- “For the urban legend who haunted my city ten years ago.”

Saquina Karla C. Guiam is 26 years old and a full-time grad school student. Her work has been featured on The Rising Phoenix Review, The Fem Lit Mag, and Transcending Shadows Review. She is a member of Flood Journal, an art and writing collective of people of color, and the Roots nonfiction editor at Rambutan Literary, a magazine showcasing Southeast Asian literature. She can be found haunting Twitter (@plummeted) or Tumblr (@soften).

About the Illustrator-


Jon is a digital designer, illustrator and photo manipulation fanatic from London. When he’s not messing around on Facebook,  he’s either gaming, or watching his beloved football team Tottenham Hotspur.

Maria is one of the many amazing submissions we have received so far for the second edition of the literary collection The Machinery. To submit for The Machinery-Second edition, you can go here.

Follow The Machinery!


2 thoughts on “Maria by Saquina Guiam

  1. Interesting use of words and images. A fragmented wold that emits cohesion, yet give the reader a chance to connect its parts. Nice. Appreciate your liking my post.


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