Sunday, June 6, 2010

For Mia Zipata

For Mia Zipata

August 25, 1965 – July 7, 1993.
The lead singer for the Seattle punk band The Gits
who was raped & murdered by Jesus Mezquia.


Your rapist your murderer—
A fisherman fond of ankles in rivers
Of the caughtsun thread cast
Of ripples quiet going
His mind a raft

Any trace of river left
Inside that last pair
You pleaded for air with
White knuckles on the cord
Around your throat
Hands fond of tug & thrash
Did you wonder
About fish thrown back

A fisherman who once hung by baby feet
Wrangling viscera-covered
His back slapped for first breath
His mother who named him Jesus

Jesus who positioned you
Arms out on pavement
A human cross in early July
To mark his name by


You bluegrass child who grew
Where horse tails flicked eye corners
Pulled flies from your hair’s briar
How they swarmed even then into what
You grew

Double jointed Onloan-from-the-universe-child
A brother a sister who unlearned your shy
Each time you kissed the mike
Threw back your head to sing
For a second skin to take it all in
A little easier


To think of the chance crossing
The 2 am intersection of that clashing duet
The street’s orange light
The music in your ears
The field you never knew Your last

To think of faulty batteries that could have
Cleared your ears to gravel’s sound
Or of one more last song before that
Or of the sleepless walker who chose
Left instead of right that night

To think of the makings
The tuned arrangement that would play
Your three am scream soon recorded on paper
Your last note Your instrument in someone’s hands
Hands we want Out Of the composition
Before you violin-screamed
Into the off-staff of stars


Should leave it there they say
Let soften the brutality
Cauterize facts how he did
How he cut the air from your lungs
With fishermen hands Wrung the cord dry
After he raped you

The beating that would have killed you they said
The beating if not the strangling if not the raping
The beating of your heart let loose
Your blue rivers hitting air
You who never left the room
Without erecting each goose-bump-pillar high


Did he know by the way the streets shook with scream you sang
Know by the strength you kicked you fought
Did he taste salt on your breast as he bit
Know your humanity when he left you
Eyes closed Out Of your body

That slug’s trail across skin
Where his mouth had been
That ten years later would bring
Only one kind of answer

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