for sasha wall

crimson ring
in a dark sky
bullet hole—  Sasha Wall was a transgender
reddened woman of color fatally shot in her car in
sunset: Chesterfield County, South
the light leaving us behind Carolina. She is one of many
trans women of color killed in 2018.

seat belt stretched
across a darkened space

and no shrill alarm
left in the body

did you know,
every year
was the most dangerous year
for you to be alive?

but of course you know. black woman

and isn’t that privilege— the luxury of not knowing
and isn’t that death—the luxury of not knowing

as if time could be given
and never kept

hunched over
steering wheel
spinal cord bent
first into a spinal cord
and then into a question mark
an elongated map

against the backdrop
of the sandhills
and a lonely american flash-
a still picture. just like that.


it is april 1st and i am waiting for the joke to splinter because, like the fool i am, i swallowed the
last bullet-length word in my mouth that had no consonants. it was holy like that. dearest mother
even heaven is the lack of something
and i pray to you because even my god can be colonized, even this body is a pre-existing
condition, worth less than worthlessness.       the president’s seeming planned aggression.
presidents set precedents: call them worm-mouth horror-struck lucid nightmare of humdark
and i know,
i know momma. i must tell my audience what i mean       humdark: that deafening silence as
the lack of your sisters is given to you. i woke this mourning to find that another trans woman
was murdered every     time    is a figment of our imagination                    because if it were real
someone would mention how fast it is moving               right?
because momma, i came home to you on a small bus in my lonely state. (texas meaning allies)
i found you with your mouth overcome with fireflies
and i opened up this chest to give you
what i might have called a constellation yesterday
but i now know is an asterism                               one part                     of a bigger, ineffable thing.


a still picture. just like that.
a lonely american flash
the sandhills
against the backdrop
of a burning map

that is death isn’t it— choosing the luxury of not knowing
that is death isn’t it— choosing the luxury of not knowing

because more time could be given
and never kept
in the end,
my God opens her own
bloodied eye— a crimson ring.
not a bullet.
not period to a life sentence.
a long wail,
a horrid blue sky.

a bright, little girl
spinning haphazardly
in her mother’s perfect dress,
and yes, i know that is all
you ever wanted to be but

instead,              a perfect crimson red.
a blood departure.
a silence
made permanent.



Christopher Latin (sometimes stylized as C. D. Latin) is a 21 year old genderqueer, pansexual poet of color and an avid reader from Houston, Texas. They currently attend Huston-Tillotson University in Austin where they major in English. You can find their work published/forthcoming in their university’s literary magazine called 900 Chicon, The Ellis Review, and The Heavy Feather Review. When they are not writing they are busy spending too much money on poetry books and clothes.

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