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Matthew Killed Somebody: A Murder in North Hampton Massachusetts
For Matthew Santoni

Matthew, Matthew, what did you do?
Sweet Boy of North Hampton
With your face painted with fear,
Your palms of salty laced lakes,
Switch blade blood swimming in your eyes?

Speak to me.
Tell me about the sweaty nightmares
Of The Homies,
The Hicks bred-
from Farm Houses
of skinhead Fathers

Mothers in Ghettos.
Bullets from Bullies

under Silver Slides,
and Monkey Bars.

Scorch my ears
with your secrets
I am ready with you
holding a baseball bat.
Arms cradle bricks
in the rear of a school bus

I am with you through
the hallway crowds
of Mechanical Boys calling you
Faggot in a Train of Ridicule.

I am with you through Pleasant Street
panhandling for cigarettes
and beer money

Skin is skinned.
Body shift,
to shades of black and blue
from Fists of Smith Vocational:
A school that works.

Let your anger trickle down
the Backbone of Teachers
who believes Homosexuality is wrong,
who prefers not to hear about it.
The ones you scream
to in journals of poetry.

He deserves what he gets.

Father lost his job
with the Veteran's Association.
Mother put food on the table
with what little she had as a
license cosmetologist.

Where is Sarah in her granny dresses, torn fishnets?
who was your girlfriend for almost a year?
The one you went crying to as Dionysus in make-up?
The girl who escorted you around buildings,
away from Hostile young men?

Sarah who I made my whole life.
You are the only thing I've got left.

Sarah who spent a whole year trying
to protect the boy she loved,
the boy everyone despised.

Where are the Police to serve
and protect? Who crack
your skull with night sticks.

The people of North Hampton
mourn the death of Jeffery LaMothe,
16 years old who never left you alone.
Who never believed you was Bisexual.

No one mourns you Matthew.
No one brings you flowers.
No one writes you handwritten prayers on notebook paper.
No one grips you with teddy bear hugs.
No one drenches Kleenex with
Massachusetts sorrow.

What happened that night as-
you sat on the post office porch
in your wraparound shades,
in your knee-length shorts,
in your golden blond hair eating pizza?

When Jeffrey, dead at 16,
drove you to thrust a kitchen knife
in his chest?

Matthew, Matthew,
speak to me from
the Central Housing Unit
of Plymouth County
Correctional Facility

Let us join hands with your lawyer.
Sarah, your North Hampton heroine
Your Cosmo mother,
the father who dismisses you,
Toni, your drama teacher

who is still mad at you for fucking up.
Who thought he knew you.
Who never knew what was really
going on.

Hey Matthew, you want to shoot some
pool; rent a couple of Michael J. Fox movies?
I can cook us some fried bologna sandwiches.
Help you forget what happened
over Chinese Checkers,
a game of Monopoly

Stay where you are Matthew.
I'll be right there.

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