‘We are dying here’

by Emily Reader

She is in an abyss,
A vacuum where no thoughts can be voiced,
The words cling to chords,
Unable to sneak past walls of teeth,
Into the dust-choked air.
Her story is old news,
Dried up and dull,
And like toddlers, we have tossed her problems aside,
When they lasted too long and got too hard.

Her children still starve behind turned backs,
Their skin translucent and worn, like greasy paper.
The bullet holes still print patterns in her home,
Her friends,
Her family,
Like brail that cannot be deciphered.

Do not cast her away,
Like so many others,
To skitter along alleyways and conglomerate in gutters,
Until her words rot into meaningless mulch.

Do not let her perish in the void of the forgotten.