Someone murdered my niece today.

That is all his status says.

Her middle name was Rose—I read it later
in the online article
that called for information,
offered money in exchange
for suspicions about
license plates, strange behavior,
height, weight, eye color, last seen leaving
the bar on her bicycle—
I know many girls
named after flowers;
a neighbor’s child
who picks violets with her sister,
a cousin with a lily tattooed on her calf.

My first thought—maybe it’s a joke.

But:
the quiet lineup of letters,
placed one after the other
like feet walking
a narrow beam.

Theodosia Henney is a Pushcart Prize-nominated queer whose poems and flash prose have appeared or are forthcoming in over a dozen publications, including RHINO, Grey Sparrow Journal, Fifth Wednesday, Vestal Review, Ozone Park, and Dirtcakes. She recently returned from several months of living out of a backpack, and is profoundly excited at the prospect of having shelves again.

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2 Responses to Someone murdered my niece today.

  1. Trent Lewin says:

    A tough read. Really.

  2. Allie Marini Batts says:

    I didn’t realize I started holding my breath after reading the first line until the last line, when I let it out. Tough, yes, but brings a sense of reverence to the loss, and reminds us of the way technology makes it easier to transmit information quickly, but has a way of detaching us from the weightiness of the hardest things that people tell each other.

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