in memory of Ally Steinfeld* / after Donte Collins
she’s dead : list of names lengthens like a shadow
she was so young : how old are you again?
the first reports called her a man : the body is never something we truly own
i couldn’t read the whole article : a needle hurts less if you don’t watch it make an entrance of you
be safe : isn’t this the worst way to end up on the news?
how are you holding up : i know what the suicide statistics look like for you
i just couldn’t read it : isn’t turning away from roadkill an act of mercy?
it’s all so gruesome : we expect you pretty, even in death
they won’t even call it a hate crime : they did the cops’ work for them
where did you want to move again : are you researching colleges or graveyards?
she was so young : how far was walking out of boyhood from a grave?
are you safe : already i imagine your body becoming a headline
say her name : we have learned to love you best as headlines
#SAYHERNAME : until another blooms fresher from a newspaper page
[her name] : another in a procession of mourners, the anonymity of black clothing
she’s dead : & 17 forever & 17 forever & 17 &
i’m so glad you’re safe : for now
she was so young : how have you survived this long?
say her name : but it won’t bring her back
you’re so brave : i know i will outlive you
are you afraid : you should be
*& Mesha Caldwell & Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow & Jojo Striker &Tiara Richmond & Jaquarrius Holland & Chyna Doll Dupree & Ciara McElveen & Alphonza Watson & Chayviss Reed & Kenneth Bostick & Sherrell Faulkner & Kenne McFadden & Josie Berrios & Ava Le’Ray Barrin &Ebony Morgan & TeeTee Dangerfield & Gwynevere River Song & Kiwi Herring & Kashmire Redd & Scout Schultz & Derricka Banner &&