for the Hà Tinh victims.

10.27.19

on trucks,
in boats;
across deserts,
unruly waves;
hidden between spaces,
trunks
locked away.

they had dreams
too.

as i type this,
from the safety of my home,
a land i was born to,
in a city i could fly to,
passing security checks,
my screen
is as glaring
as her phone’s
must have been—
light in a dark
lorry.
salvation in a space
for the damned,
the ones deemed
replaceable
invisible,
a portal to
a life left behind.

now, as i sit here,
the air is crisp,
cold.
a rain followed by unending sunlight
i wonder how many hours passed
for them in darkness,
stale air,
whimpering, cracking fingers.
how many texts did they send?
how many prayers were sent up to the sky only to
crash against tin walls around them?

they say,
“in death,
we are free.”

maybe their souls are able to wander freely over
the roads they once travelled.

their bodies are shipped back to loved ones.
free passage for the dead.
border patrol doesn’t care when the life has left,
when the blood is dry.
a debt is repaid.
£25,000 pounds for a dead daughter,
for broken families,
for eternal grief.

what is the price for
a gentler death?

for those who get to
keep breathing,
we are left
to wonder
what if
we
let
people
live.