the old butchery by Giovanni Mangiante

the old butchery 

my father and i waited on a red light when i noticed 

a building being demolished 

“i bet lots of hobos slept there” i said 

“that’s the old butchery” he said 

“i never knew that. what happened to it?” 

“they found severed dog heads in their barrels” 

“no shit” 

“it was all over the news. dog heads mixed with pig heads” 

“so that means…” 

“yeah, they used dog and pig meat to make their sausages” 

i glanced at the building again and heard him laugh. i turned. 

“your nonno bought sausages there” he said 

“no way. he liked that shit?” 

“well, he didn’t know. we didn’t know” 

“you ate them too?” 

“yeah. no idea how many dogs we must have eaten those days” 

the lights turned green and we left the building behind. 

i turned my head to see it one final time. 

i said a silent prayer for all the stray dogs butchered in there. 

many of them had owners waiting to no avail for them to return. 

hell, and why not a prayer for the damn pigs? 

i said one for them too. 

the building was now long gone from my view, 

and the next one i saw had a big sign that read 


i pulled my phone out and opened the notepad 

“dear god” i wrote “i don’t know what the fuck to tell you” 

and slipped it down my pocket again. 

Giovanni Mangiante is a poet from Lima, Peru. His work appears in various journals such as Three Rooms Press, As It Ought to Be, FEARLESS, Synchronized Chaos, and more. He has upcoming poems in The Piker Press and Studi Irlandesi. He lives with his dog, Lucy. In writing, he found a way to cope with BPD.

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