Monthly Archives: July 2016

poetry for a broken day

is this what it feels like to lose my self?

pinpricks deep in my shoulder, under the fascia and tendons, squirming and unsettled. frenzied scanning of social media, to see who sees
our collective humanity being chiseled away.

your food porn and vacation photos and sports posts are a punch to the gut right now.

because, this world where life is taken because of waking up black and brown in a state founded on violence against blackness and brownness.

what does it feel like?

//

where do i make room for grief and anger when my heart and body are already violated, traumatized? and i
know that my people were destroyed, too, elsewhere.
and i
know that this is the work of solidarity.
and i
know, deeply, that today i inhabit the world mostly safe
but i
also know that i’ve been violated. and that my heart is saturated with that. with that grief and pain and healing and overwhelm.
and it is more than guilt. it is not knowing where to put this pain, and not knowing so much that in fact i don’t even feel it, because there’s no room, and so i feel numb, and say, ‘not again’, and go to a march and stand there and feel my gut clench and my insides tingle and my nerves on edge and my heart aches but i cannot give that ache a name because
i don’t know where to house it.

//

it’s that instant before i see my pet take a dump in the middle of the carpet, and i yell out, ‘no, you little shit! don’t do it!’, and they do it, and i’m left
cleaning up a pile of turds, in the middle of my home and sanctuary

or before i get hit by that car, and my body knows what is happening and i feel powerless against the impact about to
impale me

or on the bus, when that man raises his voice and i await the outburst,
and try to make myself small so that
no one would notice
and i might escape unscathed

//

‘this is why the work matters’
‘this is why we do what we do’
‘we’re all trying to do the best we can’
‘it’s too overwhelming’
‘i need to take care of myself’
‘we need to do something’
‘self care is a radical act’
‘don’t hide behind your privilege’
‘#blacklivesmatter’

//

today I opened a document
and looked at it and then
opened 3 other documents and then I
thought about writing some words on that
document but instead I
opened up other apps and pages and websites and feeds
and scrolled and scrolled and then
sent a bunch of messages and made a bunch of plans and
read and
consumed and consumed and consumed other people’s feelings and their
trying-to-make-sense-of-it-alls
and then I opened up this document and wrote these words.