"Missing Women" calls out some of the names of the more than 60 women who disappeared from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside from the early 1980s to 2002. Because many were impoverished and drug-addicted sex workers, their disappearances were met by systemic and institutional indifference and prejudice.
On the 135
I bus to where you are / Yesterday you bussed to me, found me reading your book, holding a sign with four letters on it / This is the stop you where you got off yesterday / East on Hastings, our haircuts speak the disparate / The super hero, cartoony [...]
When You Ask for Space
When you ask for space, I stop touching you even with my mind. I don't know what you need. [...]
Jen, I feel wretched. / The pine tress are heaving / in the wind. Jen, look— / I kept that chocolate your sister gave me. / I'm not kidding: I can still see / the half-moon scar from your nail. [...]
alex, to the detox
he'd stagger in to us when he was broke and broken / beaten addled / stinking like a billy goat but not for long. / he knew we had no drugs to ease the trail / but we would stay beside him through the shudders and the shakes / talk him through the traces of his family at the window, / and scaly creatures stalking him, trying to eat his face.