The Wait of The World
The silver screens flashed images
of brown bodies
tackled and mangled
by those sworn to serve and protect.
Packed like sardines
within cages that will forevermore trap their innocence behind their metal bars,
children’s eyes swim with tears
of anguish and despair
that even some adults have yet to learn,
and so in their native tongues
they ask back for their snatched guiding lights.
The intercom interrupts a dignity ridden,
sickly orange figure of hate,
that claims innocence and points fingers,
“Get to class. Time for morning announcements”
for Throwback Thursday holds a higher priority
than the truth displayed on the silver screens that now read:
Our voices tuned with robotic patriotism finished declaring
one nation under God, indivisible, for liberty and justice for all*
In class, the most anticipated moment has arrived.
Debate is healthy and necessary for learning and growing,
but when the conversation is about
human rights and which human lives are worthy of them,
it ceases to be debate and morphs into poison
for young minds and the heart of the nation
once known for wanting
“our huddled masses yearning to breathe free,”
is now known for wanting to suffocate us with pointed white cloaks.
Once famous for wanting to shelter and nurture
“the homeless and tempest-tossed,”
the people are now infamous for opting to see us bombarded,
for when we arrive, bombarded we are.
These are my people
And for all our struggle
and our fight
to live and not just survive,
Seven words interrupt and diminish it all:
“We’ll just have to agree to disagree.”
But these words should be reserved for which toppings deserve to be on pizza,
and not which humans get to live without fear of the future.
For I am not the amalgamation of convicts and dangerous stereotypes,
I am the ancient fire that my ancestors created on temples fit for the gods.
The kind that kindles warmth into homes and is a beacon of hope
for those searching for a path back home.
I am fire
I burn on ingenuity and innovative revolution
I am a fire that refuses to be extinguished
by the constant malevolence and repulsion
that downpours unto me.
To every soul outraged
by my foreign bronze sheath,
I pray they be still,
that they see the beauty and brilliance of my light that I offer onto them,
and unto our world.
Hatred is strong,
but my voice is louder still,
and the voices of thousands like me roar with
love to balance and overcome.
Through pain and because of it, beauty and strength are born.
There is great strength in numbers,
but still there is greater strength in words,
and it is within blood-soaked journals and tear-stained ink,
that I find my sanity
and my strength
To stand and say
“It is rude to interrupt.”
For fire roars and demands to be heard,
and refuses to go unseen
Pain and beauty,
Beauty and pain,
what an iconic duo,
who have shaped and guided
108 billion dead and alive.
But time and time again,
Humanity lost its way.
From suffocating each other with toxic airborne death,
to doing nothing while children are massacred
on hallowed halls
where they are taught about the ways we tear each other apart,
and nothing about how to heal the wounds we leave.
Amidst adversity, some find our way,
but not all 108 billion,
For they will be forever lost in greed and anger
and history will take note,
but simultaneously turn a blind eye
to those who lead ordinary lives,
but whose hearts pump honesty and compassion through their veins.
Beauty and pain,
a balancing act,
that the world has been forever trying to figure out.
Both are needed to make sense of our problems,
but there are multiple factors.
Nothing we’ve tried makes the equation equal zero
All that is certain is 101 billion tried,
and 7 billion must continue to push forward
or fall into oblivion and perish.
There have been a memorable few
Spreading across seconds before the earth’s eyes.
Frida, with her stitched-on heart,
Van Gogh, with his yellow paint and spiraled sky,
artists whose work captured emotion in beautiful masterpieces,
painted with the shades of the bruises left on their hearts.
But there are a special few,
that could unlikely do much with a paintbrush,
but these artists captured humanity’s complexity and simplicity,
the pain, joy, and love
on pieces of paper locked into place with pens,
whose ink had been drawn from the wells of the human soul,
for poets create magic.
To inspire and to be inspired is every artist’s job,
but to speak to and for 108 billion is to hold
a heaven bestowed power.
Our Maker created words that hurt, bruise, and kill us.
It is those very words that I hear ringing in my ears
in all of my conscious and subconscious moments.
Those cruel words that tear away at me,
rip apart my facade
they leave me naked before the world.
But because those with magic encrusted pens had the courage to write
I am clothed in strength to fight,
And to grow.
For God also armed us against words that drip heavily with animosity and despair.
with words heaped with bravery, unity, and hope,
perhaps to balance out the equation
all that’s missing is X,
who knows pain and turns it into beauty.
Hand me a calculator.
Arm me with words.
I must find out my role in all of this,
and it is my turn to tackle the equation.
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