There’s something empty
About this American Amnesia we’re fed
Quietly whispered in our ears
There’s something empty
About waking up in the morning
With the dull ache, the glimpses here and there
Reminding you back to you but
There are so many more voices
Saying “forget, forget”
And distance has always been a good excuse
To scroll past one more destruction
I can’t handle the reality of that.
Sandra Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, said “When the cameras and lights are gone, our babies are dead.”
She said, “by a show of hands, can any of you tell me the other six women who died in jail in July 2015 along with Sandra Bland? No? You are among the walking dead.”
How do we resist
This slow descent
This covering and covering
The sadness in our bones,
We were created to care
And to hurt
When our neighbor hurts
But how do we remember who we are
On such haunted land?
How do we sing our song in this haunted land?
Without succumbing to empire lullabies–and maybe
it’s too much.
I wanted to write you
My most epic love poem
Because I wanted to tell you
How beautiful I think you are
But I didn’t succeed
Because it was hard
And maybe all I can really give
Is my incomplete poem
Saying, “Here are my hands”
What’s in your hands?
And can I tell you how beautiful you are?
I see no way out when I look this way
But when I look at you, I feel infinite
I feel the beyond beyond.
I wanted to sing the most healing song
But maybe it’s enough
To at least start singing
There are still beautiful things happening, like trees
Slowly growing towards the sun,
Babies being born, bread shared,
Truthful conversations that hurt and then cleanse.
I refuse to be the walking dead.
Do you remember that movie “The Land Before Time?”
Its theme song came to mind the other day
And almost made me cry
(which isn’t hard)
But it’s so true
And so much deeper and more difficult
Than it seemed when I was 8.
Don’t lose your way
With each passing day
You’ve come so far
Don’t throw it away
Dreams are for keeping
Wonders are waiting to start.
If we hold on
I know our dreams will never die
But as Rilke said
For one human being to love
Another human being:
That is perhaps the most difficult
Task that has been entrusted to us,
The ultimate task,
The final test and proof,
The work for which all other work is merely preparation.
Love is not a vict’ry march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken
Will you love me in this haunted land?
Will you sing your song, any song?
Will you share your unfinished poem?
Will you hold on?
Here are my hands.