In 1993 Brandon Teena, a trans man from Lincoln, NE, was murdered by his rapist and an accomplice in Humboldt, NE.  Also murdered that night were Phillip DeVine and Lisa Lambert.


I live in the town where Brandon Teena is

buried beneath the wrong name.


I drive past that deceit to the prairie

where orb spiders hang from the bluestem

and a one room school house juts into the horizon.


Where trees grow, bluebirds fly

from branch to branch like little scarves

and cardinals are small red flags

each winter contrasting with the snow.


You never forget though, living here

about the bones beneath everything

how arrowheads glimmer in the gravel

north where the terrain changes to sandhills.


At times, I travel to the Platte River’s bends

and the shallows where cranes roost

passing through this state.


I’m here, with my roots

now drinking from the aquifer

as the birds leave again and again.