International Woman. A Boston Woman.

Note: This poem was inspired by the tragic death of Jassy Correia. I also want to dedicate this poem to Genevieve Marie Philip, Kristen Lartey, and Sharrice Perkins women of color who were all victims of violence who lost their lives in 2012.


I’ve been thinking about you

What thoughts ran through your mind that evening

What songs blared in your bedroom as you danced, got dressed, and prepared to celebrate your birthday

I am curious about what you aspired to be

What type of life did you want to lead

I read in the newspaper that you were humble, a great mom, and sweet

Did you get a chance to kiss your daughter goodbye that night?

Venu

That was same club my girlfriends and I would frequent in our early 20s

We loved the vibe

music played by local DJs

The sight of cute guys who were familiar and unfamiliar faces

and the location

The theatre district somehow always felt safe to us

Boston girls from Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, Hyde Park, and JP

We believed that if we could navigate those streets safely

Downtown Boston was just a change of pace, not too dangerous or unsafe

Until we saw your name in headlines and the photo of you and your daughter on our television screens and Instagram feeds.


I don’t want to memorialize your life in a way that turns you into a martyr

Because you were not a sacrifice to prompt men to think twice before they decide to prey on women

You are not a martyr to encourage women to dust off our girl code book

Because nothing could change the ego of a man who decided to play God and prematurely take a woman’s life.

I won’t mention his name

The inaccurate or horrific details about what actually happened that night

Whether you knew you him or not

Because those details are trivial and will never bring you back

I won’t dare try to say that I understand what your family, friends, and the Cape Verdean community are going through now, tomorrow, or a year from today.

But on International Women's Day

I Stand Here in City Hall

To Say Your Name: Jassy Correia

I stand here today to honor you.

And to remind us that:

You are love

You are strength

Your life is valuable

Your dreams are not deferred

You are more than a beautiful face

You are a mother who gifted the world legacy found in your daughter.

You are a woman

An international woman








Nakia Hill