Maxine Beneba Clarke

– for natalina angok


they are the women

                 whose bodies

                 don’t quite make front page



they are carefully measured outrage


     when it happened


they weren’t walking home from a


collar job post friday night drinks

at a bar you recognise

     and even if you learnt them

you forgot their names

                after a while





search the photos

see their smiles


they were mourned by sliding scale

     according to proximity


to –

     damn that could have been me



     don’t remind you

of your sisters girlfriends daughters selves

                                                                        or wives


their faces bleed toward the staplefold

and their killer’s state of mind will matter



             more than their coloured lives

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of The Hate Race and Foreign Soil. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.

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