Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 89

because I believe that if I died that death someone would sing my song, recount my story.

More and more of what I write now I write in homage to those we have lost. To do more than survive, that is what we need, what I need from you. I need you to tell the truth, to tell the mean stories, and to sing the song of hope. I need all of us to live forever and to remake the world. Listen again to the words of my poem and remember the life it honors, the remade life denied to one of us.

Boston, Massachusetts, many years ago

a woman told me about a woman dead,

a woman who might not have been known

to be a lesbian.

No one is sure they knew that.

The cops didn’t say that, they said

she was wearing a leather jacket, blue jeans, worn boot,

had dark cropped hair and was new to the neighborhood,

living in an old brick rowhouse with three other women.

Said she was carrying a can of gasoline.

They did not say why,

a car waiting

a jar of sticky brushes.

Said she was white

her friends were white

the neighborhood was bad,

she and her friends were fools

didn’t belong there

were queer anyway.

Said the young rough crowd of men

laughed a lot

when they stopped her,

that she laughed back,

and then

they made her pour the gasoline

over her head.