A girl left a party in Wisconsin and died.
The news tells me it was cold, it was
Wisconsin. The news tells me February
lined the streets like old paper.
The news tells me she was found
with a sweater beside her but not
on her. The news doesn’t tell me
but men would like to tell me
shouldn’t have been drinking, if she was
drinking. Shouldn’t have been alone.
Shouldn’t have been dressed like that.
Shouldn’t have been dressed.
Shouldn’t have been young. Shouldn’t
have been pretty. Shouldn’t have had
lipstick. Shouldn’t have had a man.
Shouldn’t have left him. Stare
down a well. We have this fur. Lucite
chest of animal sleeves. I have waited a lifetime
of leaving parties, of men telling me
what, for one to say nothing, only
please, mouth ready to take what I want.
Alison Stine‘s most recent book of poetry is Wait (University of Wisconsin Press), and her most recent book of fiction is a novella, The Protectors (Little A). Also a visual artist, she lives in Appalachia with her son and works as a reporter. Her website is alisonstine.com.