CW: Ableism, death, violence


In memory of 19 murdered and many more injured in Sagamihara.

On July 26, 2016, around 2 am, a former employee broke into a home for people with disabilities in Sagamihara, Japan. He murdered 19 residents. He said he wanted disabled people to “disappear.”

Some nights I believe in evil.
Some nights I leave my window open
because my skin's too hot to sleep.

I don't know you
but I know you were like me.
I know that some nights their pity

Most nights I know he lied
when he said we aren't worth
the years we have in us.

Was it warm
when you

I'm sorry.
It was
2:20 am.
You were
5,194 miles
from me.
(I didn't know to visit you.)

I opened my window
and I could feel:
19 throats
19 hearts

and me (and us) 
learning how to believe in you sliced open
learning how to be haunted
by you.

I've never known a hotter summer
across all of our oceans.
My air
blisters with your


About the Author

STEPHANIE STEIN is a poet with a love of languages. Her work has been featured on Monstering and Red Wheelbarrow. She was a poetry editor for the 2017 Student Edition of Red Wheelbarrow magazine. She was an advisor for the Hollows Shout the Mountain Down collaborative writing workshop with Monstering and Winter Tangerine. Previously, Stephanie worked on various research and writing teams in the high tech field. Now, Stephanie is pursuing a master's degree in linguistics at San Jose State, where she is also seeking a computational linguistics certificate. You can find her on her Tumblr.