When she died (cause marked unknown) they flayed the flesh from her white bones and peeled the contours of her face with careful touch and subtle grace - they (the undertakers three) hung it out and steamed it clean the sagging wrinkles ironed out, new scripture stitched into her mouth. “We could have saved her!” preach the choir and lift their arms wider and higher up to the mask made of her smile, the candles lit within her eyes - They point at sinners, freaks and saints Tear at their clothes without restraint Soliloquize rebukes on why This golden martyr had to die. Her grave becomes a pilgrim’s town And oh, they flock from miles around With riches that you ne’er did see And oaths of cherished memory. Above it all, the embalmed face Decapitated, or lying in wait Or gazing in kindness – who can say? Not the dead; we’re gone and gone away. And in the gutters and the alleys In the cities and the valleys In the slums and in the streets In the sickbeds wrapped in sheets - In the brothels and the workhouse In the churches and the madhouse In the morgues though not yet dead Soon to follow in her stead – Not yet nameless, not yet breathless Not yet voiceless, not yet bloodless Still in reach, and so close by Look down, and look us in the eye Faces not bolted to blocks of wood Grips unsteady but still good But you won’t help the living – see – there’s that chance that we might disagree. so you walk by, with tribute in your hands to lull the guilt of your mourning band and step on the bones of forgotten ghosts - We were alive three days ago.
The site KiwiFarms has been linked to at least four suicides; broadening that to groups associated with online harassment such as anti-shippers, TERFs, transphobes and other groups empowered by KF’s tactics, the number increases massively. Suicide is the leading cause of death for too many of us – marginalized, neurodivergent, queer, trans, intersex, traumatized, Black, people of color, indigenous, poor. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of hearing about preventable deaths and having to decide where to put all of this anger.
So put your money where your mouth is. Stop blaming those of us who try to kill ourselves for being weak, or fragile, or mentally ill, and understand that you can cause this. You can prevent this. Our deaths are not inevitable. They are not unchangeable. They are not manipulation tactics, or signs of bad moral character. They are cries for help. So help.
Shut down KiwiFarms. And when we’re done, shut down everyone in your life who thinks suicide or bullying or harassment is a joke. Shut down the part of yourself that wants to minimize it, to feel “normal”. Let yourself feel it. And be angry.
I wrote this poem a while ago, and I’ve been trying to submit it; but I think it’s better this way.