When the flowers are killed

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The photos above were taken at the Peace Park in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala. The park was built on the place where most of the “martyrs” died during a 1990 uprising against the military.  The story below doesn’t reflect these events, yet it is inspired by events that usually happen during these conflicts. 

He killed you softly, enjoying the breeze of each of your last breaths. He first got you naked to make the main difference between you and him more obvious. It wasn’t enough for him to deprive you of life. He needed to squeeze your breasts that thanks to him were never able to breastfeed. He needed to put his ‘power’ inside you and rip every bit of your insides move after move.

He couldn’t hear your screams or see your tears, which carried sadness, powerlessness, and the blood that scores of women have spilled for centuries. Injustice, power, or politics meant nothing to you, yet you were living all of them at the same time.

He was free with every penetration, while your eyes just shut down. You stopped breathing, and then grasped for air, choking, unwilling to let the air flow through your chest that was being silenced with his torso. You didn’t even have the power to choose when to stop living.

You turned your head sideways and saw all of them gone, being owned by dozens of perpetrators,  just like you. You couldn’t recognize them. They were not men, not militaries, not even animals. They laughed, drank, and killed…all of you, woman after woman, girl after girl.

When he took the knife out, you saw her just above his head. You’ve never seen her before, but you knew she was part of yourself. She surrounded you with flowers, white petals that got colored with your own blood. Blood that will never see punishment or justice, but that will always run through the breasts and soft hands that century after century fight against them.

You didn’t die in vain, although our women continue to be killed. Your last breath is our first scream…

* I dedicate this piece to all those women who have been victims of any form of oppression and to all those women who keep fighting day after day. And to all those other women who keep forgetting that we have a fight ahead of us.