Sara Blackwood, 39, Indianapolis, IN, October 11: National Coming Out Day

Friend, have you walked the streets of your city
under its familiar night sky, safe in your skin,
your body moving inside the clothes you wore
all day, late, work ended. Safe in the familiar
                        Sara Blackwood must have felt that
on the half hour walk home from her shift
past the White Castle, Popeye’s, Catalina Sports
Bar; past the library, the Good News Ministries,
to where E. Washington becomes residential,
safe within herself, thinking of anime, or Avery
waiting for her.
                                  But then there was a man with a gun
who pulled her into some bushes in the front yard
of a home. The surveillance video shows a flash,
the shot that killed her, or Sara’s last light.

Sara, a shy trans woman bothering no one, her job
at Kroger’s, waiting tables at Long John Silver.
Her love for My Little Pony. A life so benign,
who would shatter it? Shoot her in the dark and leave
her, yes, her too, to die alone on the street.

Sara, I’m grieving for you, for all of us, who trust
the night, who walk in the dark, cautious, who never
really think of murder, of the brief terror, the loud bullet,
the power in those who don’t know or care who we are.

Subhaga Crystal Bacon 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. Her recent work appears in the Bombay Review, the River Heron ReviewHumana Obscura, and Plum Recruit. Read more of her work on her website.  

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