poetry
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for her, and all the rest

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india had no new year celebrations.
its people were too busy shedding tears
for a stranger protesting in anger
storming the pages of world news.
for once it’s not about a derailed train or religious hate or
the way the country steps up in the digital scene.
this story is about a dream coming true
for five men and one youth who lusted after gold.
she must have been beautiful,
for them to ignore the gems on the street to be sold
for them to see her with her man and not care
for them to dare take what is meant to be given
out of the arms where it should have been safe.
more than i want to see her face i want to know her name.
it will be remembered after the celebrities are forgotten and
bollywood has fallen from sleeping with the west.
her name will be a test for the most enlightened of nations
they read/listen/watch in disgust
so glad that’s not us
they’re so backward over there

they don’t look around hear secrets that live near.
it’s not something we talk about. it’s not polite
conversation it stays quiet
for the clever/witty banter of the bar.
walk into a grocery store
you won’t need to go far:
one two three four her
one two three almost me
one two you tomorrow-
and where are the men?
in the next aisle stealing more fruit.
twelve mutual friends on facebook
invites to the same events
you knew each other so you have no defense
carry on smile walk forward through life.

we almost have the same conviction rate as them over there
those people who don’t care about their women-
our justice system gives us just as much love.

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