she alleged, six or seven times,
in her beautiful green dress.
I was that green dress.

I am the ghost
of that green dress.
These days,
I float ethereally
from where the Ala Wai Inn stood
and down John Ena Road
near Fort DeRussy,
where people—
Mrs. George Goeas, Alice Araki,
and Eugenio Batungbacal—
testified they saw me
pass them by,
which places me
in the area late that night.

I am the ghost of the green dress
that Thalia wore,
when she said she was abducted
by five young locals
and brought to a place–
dark, isolated, desolate–
in Ala Moana,
known as "Beach Road,"
where only a few
small fishing boats
creaked in the dark
and dogs whined, their cries
coming from the old
animal quarantine station.

I am the ghost of the dress
that weaves in and out
the psyche of Hawaii's people.
I am there when the brah on
on the street says:
"Eh haole, what you looking at?
You like beef?" Or when the local
kid cannot understand why he hates
guys in uniform and feels
like he wants to punch them out,
but will sign up
to fight with them in Iraq
because he needs a job.
He does what he does,
but can hardly wait to bug out.

I'm there when the haole looks
at the local kid "funny kine," or can't
look him in the eye because
he's not white or thinks
the kid's stupid because
he can only speak "da kine"
you know, Pidgin,
and look down on him,
as if he were low class,
uneducated, poor. Trash.
Animosity working both ways.

Unlike hospital-green frock,
I was once viridescent,
as sunlit slopes
of the Ko'olau mountains;
as the pleasure
garden sullied by the vertiginous
minds of whomever did this,
to her, my wearer.

I was viridescent as the ocean
in a green-bloom of limu,
a green that accentuated
the color of her fair skin
her light, soulful eyes
and red lips,
fine brown hair.
To have seen her,
you would have been
hard-pressed to say
she was pretty,
but unconventionally
attractive, she was taller
than most women in the islands
and had the kind of lugubrious
chic-ness made of money and unhappiness,
as she walked away from the Inn
in an inebriated sway.

In the car
where she said she was raped,
I don't remember
if I were lifted gently from her legs
or shoved up to her waist
with trembling hands
or pressed by desire
against the heaving
want and weight
of desperate men.
I don't remember if they nestled
their need into my neckline
as they drooled into her cleavage,
if they even did, indeed.

After whatever happened,
once at home,
I was taken off
and hung like a scarecrow
in her bedroom.
She called the police
to say that she'd been beaten
and raped and the detectives
came to take her statement,
but Detective Bill Furtado
and his partner George Harbottle
did not inspect me much,
hanging in her room.
Only much later was I scrutinized
whereupon they found but a tiny blood
spot and a bit of soil.
Nothing more.
I remained green.
Was clean.

I don't know when it happened,
maybe this part
folded into my imagination,
but some months later,
I was stripped from the hanger,
and stomped on, in anger.
Torn across the bodice,
I was dragged out
and taken to the backyard
where I was hung and set on fire.
Burned in effigy.

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