she has wings and pen and paper.
She is alive, bleeding like a sacred heart
leaving drops for me to follow
sticky footprints toward hope.
My grief, a matroyshka, one painted face inside another inside another
sings songs of choking rivers plastic oceans children in cages pre-existing existences.
first broken apart when I watched you shark-circle your opponent
just after the pussy tape told us exactly who you are
it didn’t matter.
My grief slicing open for my own complicity, my own dance in privileged skin
broken with Pulse and Parkland and Treyvon and too many more
whose souls now find passage in my living marching grief
that revealed my own #metoo year hidden away in my body
caged in an even larger grief
my father, dead too young, dead naturally
I yearn for him thirty years later
I cry for him and the children on foil blankets reaching
they are mine. they are ours. they are yours.
One month after your inauguration they found my cancer
and I knew my body had turned toward self-destruction
that could not be healed with more destruction,
walls, firepower or poisons
could only be healed with integration
with asking hey, what is up, what do you need, how can I help
you find home?
Our nation, yes your nation too, our nation, my nation
consumed by its own cancer now
not the cancer of one person or party
but the cancer of belief that some are saved and some are sinners
some are chosen some are forsaken
some are us and some are them
this cancer also cannot be cured with guns and poisons
no wall will contain this cancer
we must open to it
find its voice beneath its fence of fear and separation.
Let us follow the bleeding heart of grief
with tender steps
with open arms
with me with you.
My grief, she is not phony, dressed in feathers and silk
she has feet and lungs and fingers
her task is not to hide behind a wall, a gated community, a mask of skin
her task is to remain broken, bleeding, open
while the world is shouting close
each image cutting deeper, each crying child our own yearning
My grief is not yours to claim
she is mine and she sings my spine awake
dances my fingers forward toward the torch of hope
that grieving bloody hearts will hold high
illuminating the quivering cancer until it has nowhere to rest
and then, my grief can smile and wipe her lips and whisper
“Look, my love, the raccoon has climbed the building; *
the children have all come home.”
- for 45 in response to his claim that liberals’ grief is phony 6/22/18
* reference to the raccoon who scaled the UBS building in Minnesota 6/13/18