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?
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