Cloudy with a Chance of Global Uprising

For Aviva

Foul mood overtakes the afternoon
despite the laying on of hands
and all good intentions
Fire belly eclipses tender heart
forcing eruption of vitriol through veins
a revolt with no room for shame
a dam useless against this mighty flow
like blood flowing like pussy riot
like do not fuck with us women
like you can’t disappear us that easily
or at all like No means No like my body
my choice like Black Lives Matter like
I’ll show you my papers when you show
us your tax returns like no I don’t want to
hold hands across the aisle not today
not tonight not tomorrow where were you
reaching for mine for the last eight years
Compassion and kindness do not mean
not angry no they mean angrier they mean
business they mean this is not a test
they mean we will not be silenced
they mean your lies will not protect you
from the people they mean we cannot
be bought or gaslit they mean light
so bright your darkness will swallow you
whole they mean we will rise up rise up
I was quiet all day
Didn’t watch the news was determined
not to give it my two minutes not to throw
in my two cents not to throw in the towel
on hope my anger rises because hope
and anger are brothers because my love
and my anger are fraternal twins
because I am a mother whose grandmothers’
cells live inside of me whose children’s
cells live inside of me whose grandchildren’s
cells live inside of me because weeping
and this anger are not opposite
and I will oppose I will defy I will cry
I will become something violent
though I thought this is not my way
I thought I am a peace seeker but how
can I seek peace when on Day One
you strip me from your pages
write us off write us out speak in shallow
teleprompted sentences to vapid applause
My daughter cried all day
because Business as Usual slapped her
in the face because climate change
is 50 degrees in January because her body
bleeds and you say she belongs to any man
who would I can’t finish that thought
Eclipse of positivity because good vibes
will not save us now no now it’s time
to listen to the people who’ve been saying
this for so long so long too long rise up
listen to us we will not become your sheep
nor will we satisfy you by tearing each other
apart no we have to come together
we have to channel this anger
that could power a nation
keep the lights on all night and through
the warming winters
energy coursing through the body
live wire current sweeping away with it
any last vestiges of playing along
an unwinnable game
gloves off let’s be all in all of us
all in and in it together

All the Forgotten Things

I’ve forgotten how to write.

Forgotten how to trust the flow of words. Forgotten how to be easy with my yeses. Forgotten how to reach out to heal old wounds. Forgotten how to write down my dreams. Forgotten how to care what others think. Forgotten how to believe it gets better. Forgotten how to give up the good fight.

I’ve forgotten how to look away.

From the water cannons. From the raised arm salutes. From the inexorable forces of corruption, greed, and power drunk superiority.

I’ve forgotten how to let sound come out of my mouth. Screams locked in my throat.
I’ve forgotten the address. Where do I send this scream? How much will it cost to get there?

I’ve forgotten how to tremble in fear. Something tells me I should, but I just can’t do it. Can’t or won’t? Can’t or don’t want to? Is there a difference?

I’ve forgotten how to sip from the fire hose of history. I’ve forgotten that I’m supposed to speak up in one breath and listen in the next. I’ve forgotten how to dance.

I’ve forgotten how to share a meal with strangers. This is the saddest part. I’ve forgotten
to give up trying.

I’ve forgotten how to make nice. I’ve forgotten how to act as if. I’ve forgotten how to live in a land of what ifs, for better or for worse. I’ve forgotten that Будь что будет sounds like suicide (que sera sera, whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see…).

I’ve forgotten that we are not hearing the real news, not even on the real news.

I’ve forgotten that Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder is not a real thing, because this morning I decided it is a real thing.

I’ve forgotten that the imagination can be a brilliant and dangerous place.

I’ve forgotten how to have a nice morning with my kids without mentioning institutionalized racism. I’ve forgotten how to tune it out. I’ve forgotten how to live in a bubble. I’ve forgotten how to delineate between privilege and struggle. I’ve forgotten how to pick a fight, win a debate, or speak truth to power.

I’ve forgotten that white power is not a fringe thing. I’ve forgotten that alt-right is a euphemism. I’ve forgotten how to ignore the artists who risk their lives and the people whose bodies are on the front lines and the poorest among us who sleep out of doors without blankets. I’ve forgotten how to show up. I’ve forgotten how to shut up. I’ve forgotten how to make myself invisible.  I’ve forgotten how to power through the day without a nap. I’ve forgotten that love will never tear us apart. I’ve forgotten to hide. I’ve forgotten how to put my own interests first. I’ve forgotten to worry about perfection. I’ve forgotten to fit into any of your boxes. I’ve forgotten that I wasn’t Muslim. I’ve forgotten to fall down nine times, get up ten. I’ve forgotten to damn it all to hell again. I’ve forgotten sweetness and light. I’ve forgotten how dark it could get all up in here. I’ve forgotten to tear down the walls inside. I’ve forgotten to give a shit about factions.

I refuse to forget the past. I refuse to close my eyes to the present. I refuse to hand you my children’s futures on a paper plate for you to fold in half and trash. I refuse to forget how to be my brother’s keeper. I refuse to stop learning how to remember.