top of page


By: Verna Zafra-Kasala


On the ninth day,

the light beating

of black wings

at the doorstep.


who are you

who shows up as

we eat sticky rice

after the prayers

and doze off

where we sit?

There is always

someone paying

a visit, always an

errant soul drawn

to a familiar song.

About the Author

Verna Zafra-Kasala (she/her) was born in the Philippines but was raised and still lives in the Pacific island of Guåhan (Guam). She is the author of Rites of Passing (Porkbelly Press, 2023), a micro chapbook of poetry that explores death and the rituals people practice when a loved one passes.

Up Next: Passing 

bottom of page