I absently sat on a bus stop bench,
As the San Antonio noonday sun
Baked streaks in my hair.
I gazed across the street and tried to guess
Where the old, wind-tossed newspaper would land next.
It had blown across the scorched parking lot,
Beginning at the farthest end, in front of the garden center.
The yellowed, ripped edges of the crumpled newspaper
Fluttered like pretty ecru ruffles as the wind
Tossed it randomly
Across the searing pavement.
A whirlwind tore the front-page headlines in half.
The mangled first page of Section 2 landed at my feet.
I stared at the center of the faded page.
A black-and-white school portrait of a teenaged girl smiled back.
You could barely see a boy's class ring on a chain around her neck.
She was an honor student, the caption explained,
Just 16 the day she came home from school and died,
In what is known as an "honor killing."
She loved computer science and played the clarinet.
They found the knife weeks before they
Found the body.
Other school band members planned a concert
In her memory.
I leaned forward and reached for the dirty, dusty page,
Wanting to know more about this brief life,
As if my curiosity would honor her memory.
A sudden, hot gust lifted her face into the air
And out of sight.