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Poem by Victoria Buitron

Content warning: death/missing women


Let’s drive by the

murderer’s house,

his steely mustang’s

ribs stick out, a rampike

through skin.

No trespassing signs

on skull-soaked grass,

nine bodies in search of

a teal-eyed one,

a woman missed first,

then missing.

Never deemed missing if

they are past runaways

with a record of mugshots or

with tired half-moon neck

tattoos etched on skin

darker than honey.

It takes cherry-blonde hair

and an online travel-lover

presence, photogenic selfies

with sham smiles to become

the only missing woman in the

United States. Her body is home

now, just not all of last year’s 268,884

missing women and girls whose pictures were

never shown on the six, eight, eleven o’clock news.


 

Victoria Buitron is a writer and translator whose work delves into the intersections of identity and place, family history, and the moments her hippocampus refuses to forget. Her prose has appeared or is forthcoming in SmokeLong en Español, JMWW, The 2021 Connecticut Literary Anthology, and other literary magazines. A Body Across Two Hemispheres, which narrates her search for home between Ecuador and Connecticut, is her debut memoir-in-essays and winner of the 2021 Fairfield Book Prize.


Image by Aleks Dorohovich

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