“Found Behind the Box Factory” by Donna Stubak

Donna Stubak


for Deanna Siefert, abducted and murdered in
Warren, Michigan 1982-1992

This is not about heaven,
it is about me, in a city
for automobiles. Two letters away
from dead, behind a shop.

Here is my failure:

I am not dead
I am not heaven
I am not Nine Mile Road
I am not Deanna

I am two letters away, an ‘e’, and an ‘a’,
the middle a missing girl. The beginning
of a song without end. Deanna, two vowels,
two streets away, two hands, an open box
behind a shop. Right by my house, my street,
she was ten, count them—ten fingers, toes, same
numbers as mine. Two hands hold
a rock, hold her scream, hold heaven. The middle,
a missing girl. The ‘e’ ends
us. In the back of a shop, open
to sky in a box.

from Rattle #21, Summer 2004

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