Put a Big Question Mark on Your Film (Runner-up, chosen by Ocean Vuong)

Aileen your face is coinage I know.
I was thirteen I knew how to light
a cigarette without being taught.
I suffered so bad.
I know. Thirteen years old, I cried
over your swollen belly, and
the weather turned
cold. We could go down to
Florida and stop wearing
Hey, I’m ready to go.
I know.
God is going to be there
Jesus is going to be there
All the angels and everything.

Everything. They’ve got angels for you.
They’ve got poems you’ll never read
inside needles, for you. I do not
cry any more (about you).
I know you’ve forgotten that stench
of snow
on pines, and –
I’m prepared
I’m alright
I’m alright with it.

Italics taken from Aileen Wournos’ final interview, as seen in Live and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)

Sage Calder Hahn grew up in rural Northwest Connecticut and currently lives in Boston. She works as a sex-educator in Brookline. Her writing has been featured in Open Letters Monthly.