Too young, they decided, and lined up

the high school at the yellow buses

and took them to the funeral

when Annie died.


Decapitated, we whispered

left behind on the soccer field,

when the cable across the plant gate

sheared off the top of her head,

and we imagined her body lying

tight in that coffin, headless.


Joy riding, we heard, drawn up high

on the transmission hump—

we knew where teenage girls rode—

in that red and white Imperial,

pageboy streaming,

her mouth a bright streak.


It didn’t happen that way, Olga said,

that poor beat-up girl found someone kind to her,

took her for a ride, he’s dead too,

Why’s this story about you?