Aiia, I keeping hearing your head hit the pavement,
down by the mouth of Latrobe,
where the muzzas and the wogs
get their uni degrees

I keep hearing your head hit hard
You were on the phone to your sis,
If only she could have reached through the line
to strangle him
punch him
stop him
I hear her screams from Palestine:
Bring me sister’s body to me!
Bring her home to me now!

I’d sacrifice knowing your name and your joyous face
just to have you carry on living life like you were,
making the most of all it had to offer you,
being ambitious, reaching for your dreams
riding the ride of life with a smile

Your dreams are our sadnesses now
Your hopes, our heartbreak
Your safety, our nightmare

I always tell the ones who come here
wide-eyed and bedazzled by the fruits of Australian opportunity:
Do not be deceived by what you see
There is a bloody history here
Years and years of corrupt policy,
of sexism, racism and misogyny
There is danger in the night
Take care, stay close to others
Be wary, there is danger in the night

I wish I could have told you, Aiia
Maybe then, just maybe, I would not know your name
I wish it was safer for you, that murder did not roam in our place
Instead, I keep hearing your head hit the pavement
Aiia, I wish I did not have to write this poem
I wish I did not know your name

Image by Brendan Bonsack