Penelope Diaz Ramirez, 31, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, April 13

The third in eight days.

Penelope, how can a life be reduced to facts,
and those so few? And used to compare you
with those who died just before you.
Is not even your death yours alone?

April 13, lost to violence
which, it turns out means
beaten and hanged to death
at the Bayamon correctional complex,
a men’s prison in Puerto Rico.

A men’s prison, Penelope.

Why did it take two weeks
to announce your death?

I have more questions than answers
Penelope, not even an image of you
survives to those like me, an outsider
like you.

                Penelope: weaver, faithful,
long suffering, wise and wily,
your name is strong. Did you weave
and unravel your own shroud
as the days passed to stave off crude
suitors? My mind stops at your end.


Photo by Brielle French on Unsplash

Subhaga Crystal Bacon

Subhaga Crystal Bacon is the author of two volumes of poetry, Blue Hunger, 2020 from Methow Press, and Elegy with a Glass of Whisky, BOA Editions, 2004. A cis-gender, Queer identified woman, she lives, writes, and teaches on the east slope of the North Cascade Mountains, in Twisp, WA.