(after Layli Long Soldier)

Whereas the girl’s feet looked wooden as she hung free
Whereas the men mid-dressing decided which of the five would drag her
Whereas my shoulder creaks when you flip me and ask me to kneel
Whereas a news reporter set up his tripod before the ambulance could arrive
Whereas the tree from which she was hanging loose was a mango tree, not bearing fruit
Whereas the carpet in your room bristles my knees, sand brown
Whereas in the scent of humid afternoons, sap trickles between legs
Whereas a software auto-processes her face into grey pixels
Whereas a herd of men writing headlines decide to rename her
Whereas you say Baby, Baby, Baby one more time
Whereas she was thirteen, was, not is, not will be
Whereas the moment I start following a story, she is taken down
Whereas hungry houseflies buzz all over her body