pausing between blinking stars
and freezing rain
I am shaken with understanding:
whenever God notices the wifi’s poor connection
He plugs in the ethernet cable
I’ve always played the patient, never the surgeon. This operating table, shining
squeaky clean, has held down thousands of bodies like mine for the same purpose:
(I know, too. I know, too)
Sedated, cut, torn, pulled, rolled, flipped, excavated, measured, colored, weighed, scanned, rejected, approved, stamped, flagged.
I exist as a gift to superior humanity- banality- a sub caption in social sciences.
(I know, too. I know, too)
A living sample of racism, classism, colonialism, sexism—
Prometheus’s –isms, eternally carried up the capitalist hill,
falling off glass cliffs, feeding social reproduction
with my gut and womb.
This waiting room is packed with whispers of change,
at the blink and beep of my number—never my name—
let me call upon the supernovas of knowledge birthing in my travelled feet to say:
I am not ill, cancel my appointment.
(I know, too. I know, too)
Three sisters buried a cow in their graveyard. The cow had grown ill and miserable, heightening the family’s misfortune as the last of their animals prepared to depart.
The first sister stroked the cow’s neck every night, in hopes that the muscles would feel loose and the cow would look up to life instead of down to death.
The second sister travelled far every dawn, to the clearest and greenest of meadows, collecting the best grass in the land. If the cow ate well, she prayed, it would remember life on earth as a pleasant one, and would make an effort to stay.
The third sister remained in the kitchen all day, cleaning pots and sharpening knives.
“All cows are meat,” she would hum to herself as the water boiled, “one down, two to go.”
When very old and very warm, the wizened sun will walk to the edge of space, where hungry black holes await,and wet his blazing toes on the deepest pool in all of the milky way.
The black holes will sing a song of death, a hymn of doom to descend silence on all fears of dying slowly and forgotten.
You’ve lived well
and you’ve lived long,
though now forsaken you’ve spent your time on the shores of Venus, comforting Mars, the Earth will thank you without the need of a shrine.
The sun sleeps.
I want to lift up my prayers in little navy clouds. I want to tie ribbons and balloons so they fly up high, higher, highest. I want to knock on all the houses, press a pen against their hands, and encourage them to write their petitions down. It’s okay, I’ll guarantee, I’ll send them on their way for you. I want to fill bags and bags with these, until the weight is so overwhelming it bends my back and makes my knees tremble. I want to take the weight upon me and load it on each messenger cloud.
I once stepped onto a dream where this was true.
It concluded with rain.
It takes the death of an innocent, a vulnerable, an exposed, to shake a nation’s sensibilities. The canon ball that sparks indignation, wails demanding justice.
There is something about the deliberate, cruel murder of an animal that seems to indicate humanity has truly evaporated.
Husband asphyxiating wife, mother drowning child, father raping daughter, friend shooting friend, enemy dismembering enemy. Fourteen lives slaughtered daily, selected with the same carefree attitude one chooses tomatoes at the supermarket. We are not shaken. Our filth has trickled so far down the gutter we no longer bother to clean it. Occasionally, a child. Still untouched, still unmarked by the deranged spark that seems to categorize us. The crouching demon with the spidery legs has not sat on their right shoulder yet.
It takes an animal. The antithesis of human.
It takes an animal. The one deemed brainless. The one deemed soulless.
It takes an animal to remind us we are worse than rabid animals.
It takes an animal to remind us we are an infection, and we are spreading, and we are contaminating, and we are oozing pus, leaving a trail of gangrene.
Our labels for humanity are all askew.
Read all about the murder of Gustavito, a hippopotamus living in El Salvador’s national zoo. (Links en Español)
The crime was not abortion.
You forcefully ask to keep us, an exotic menagerie,
our skins more colorful than your bruises.
You expect us to be grateful,
to thank you for your benevolence.
Fireworks for passing humanity.
It was a difficult birth,
your legs, squeezed tight throughout labor
almost accomplishing suffocation.
Perhaps it was never abortion,
just a prayer for infanticide.
Be we slithered out, covered in blood, covered in you,
knowing that once cleansed, the umbilical cord severed, we’d find
what a wretched caretaker you were,
dropping us on our head at the first sign of autonomy,
malnourished, naked, mute, and nearly washed out by the elements.
It was not abortion.
It was not infanticide.
All along it was assisted suicide.
But let’s be civil, shall we?
After all, isn’t that your parting gift?
civility cloaked in inflation, civility cloaked in poverty, exploitation, false freedom,
a reassurance that we should wish to be
If it’s not you then where do we seek us?
Did you not steal that too?
A poetic response to Frantz Fanon’s “On Violence” from The Wretched of the Earth
bulimia of the mind: vomiting every single thought of you until there is nothing but an echo, an acidic aftertaste of the person you fooled me to trust.
There are many things I should not tell you. They’re trapped, these things, between the mattress and the wall, underneath the sink, molding in the fridge.
There are many things I want to tell you. They’re out in the open, these things, on top of the night table, next to the sticky notes that are always blank, next to the toilet paper, soggy from the shower.
There are many things you take and forget. You hear them, these things, and I see you mouth them back at me in cruel remarks, jokes that make no one else in the room laugh. Have you noticed? It’s just the two of us now. Left.
There are many, many, things: trivial, crucial, elemental, monumental, revolutionary, prophetic, catastrophic. I cannot call them things. They clutter the ceiling, and the backyard, and the garage.
Place them inside my left eyelid at closing time. Swallow them like you’ve swallowed the entirety of everything.