Tag Archives: death

Post the Second 2 or A poem for New Orleans

The city

Is touched by

Madness

The cracks in

The sidewalk

Filled with memories

and ghosts

Walk through the

night

Looking  for home

This used to be

Swampland

She said

Teeming with muddy

Water

and the sediment

of centuries

A sacred place

Where the rains

Of the four corners

would mix

Bringing tidings

Of great things

In land

Far away

How do you mourn

That which

is no longer felt

no longer known

How do you remember

Something

that was never forgotten?

Now the land is

rotten

she said

Buried under layers

of oil and concrete

levees and canals

What once was a home

to many

Is now a barren place

Filled with the miasma

of self-hatred and

Willful neglect

How do you imagine

Something that is real

Manifest something

That can never be

Make love to something

That was never there?

The marrow of this place

She said

has been sucked dry

desicated remains litter

the ground

white shapes savagely

drain

Art Culture Experience

for their sustenance

trying to stave off

the Yawing jaws of emptiness

I must have more

They say

More More More

and their appetites are never

sated

Despite this

She said

We survive

In the cracks of

The sidewalk

Growing up out

of destruction

In the notes that leap

from the Jazz bands

Brass

In the homes

we rebuild and the seasons

we weather

We survive

She said

Because we must

There is no other option

the ancestors that we

Remember impel us

Forward

To claim what is ours

I see now

Where the road

Turns

and resistance exists

even if it is not

known


Post the Ninety-Second or I

I

Don’t know

What it is like

To die but

I

Know

What it is like

To live with

Grace

My hand trembles

As I hold this blood

Soaked pen

Blood like rivers

Flow from the tip

Of my shores

Shoring up

The weak

Parts of self

I

Remember my sisters

Cradle them in my palm

Between lines and fingers

Charting the course

Through which I

Blaze

Like life

I

Am

Still alive

Despite statistics

My body crossed

With intersections of death

Living

Life

They will not

Claim me

Today

Will not

Find

My body strewn

Like so much offal

Across the pavement

Will not

Mark the way

I move

For death

I

Mean to survive

To live, love

And thrive

I

Mean to show

Everyone

What it is like

To hustle

In a brown trans body

I

Mean to materialize

A life

That is

Abundantly

Full of familia

Love

Comfort

The softness that

Goddess has

To offer


I

don’t need

To assimilate

don’t need

Your “marriage equality”

Your white picket fence

2.5 children

I don’t need

Your lie

Because

I want justice

Justice for my sisters

Justice for myself

Justice for all of the people

Marginalized by life

Justice that does not involve

Police brutality

I want to bring

My ancestors back

From the dead

And raze this world

To the ground

So that it can

Rise anew

Like a Phoenix

Reborn

I

Plan to keep

Drawing breath

I

Know how quick

Life can go

Blink

And you miss

It.

Blink

And you’re dead

But until then

I will feel

My heart pump

Vitality to limbs

My lungs breathe

Joy to heart

My mind thinking

Spirit to life

I

Am

Alive

And I am

Gonna

Live it

Up


Post the Eighty-Eighth or Juntos

Rough edges

Grate across each

Other’s

Heart

Words fall

Like drops

Out of your mouth

Into sore wounds

I never knew what love looked like

But you showed me

The inside of your flesh

And I remembered

My

Self

Re-membered

Love is only ever

What we give

The sun lies

Across the mountain

Paining the sky crimson and gold

I turn to see

Your face outlined

In scrub bush and nettle

Your lips the color of

Twilight

Qué es el cariño

Entre dos cuerpos

Constantly atropellado by the world

When the only sure thing

Is death?

Querido

Keep your palm pressed

Against mine

And don’t be afraid

Porque estamos

Juntos


Post the Eighty-Sixth or Sometimes you get lost

Sing, O Goddess

Sing about the Rage

De nuestro pueblo

Sing

Of the Colors

That run across

Borders and Centuries

Sing

Of the Reistance

Residing in the

Inside of our Bellies

Sing

Of your Daughters

Who lived as they died

With swords in their hands

Poetry is

my Native

Tongue

Spoken only

Under/Full

Moon.

SHE kissed my Fore-Head

And I saw

Sky

Written in Gold

Earth

Written in Amber

Life

Written in Struggle

Death

Written in Life

I often Wonder

how to find

Mean-ing

Forgetting

Kindness


Post the Seventy-Fifth or Where do I begin?

Where do I begin?

The soft folds of her body

&

The fierce fire of her eyes

Are a good place

I remember what she said

That distant fall morning

“Don’t get lost”

My heart is a warren

Of old hurts

And new triumphs

The walls

Are the pink rosy gold

Color

Of hardship

The rooms

Are filled with the faces

Of those that I love

Like radiant, shining beacons

Beacons that light the way forward

The rooms are filled with memories

That I would rather forget

Her head lay on the ground

Very much detached from her body

She looks at me with reproachful eyes

Almost as if

It was my fault

As if

I could some how prevented

Her murder

How dare I remain alive

When she was dead?

It is the responsibility of the living

To bury the dead

But

It is the dead

Who must remind the living

Life is short

Where do I begin?


Post the Sixty-Third or Feel Me

He said that I write

With a pen dipped in blood

But I wonder

Is it my blood

Or theirs?

I’m angry

That bring down whole buildings

kinda anger

That cut people up

kinda anger

Anger that starts in your belly

Works it way up into your heart

And out your eyes like lasers

kinda anger

Mountains move at this type anger

And whole societies are built

With this kinda anger

This is that anger that yo mama

Warned you about.

My hands are soaked in gore

From beating against this pavement

Trying to dig holes in concrete

With nothing but nails and fingertips

So that I can plant this precious seed

Of rebellion

Given to me as a gift from those

Mothers that came before.

Can you cultivate plants from stones?

The lines on my palms are cracked and hard

Callouses rising to meet the scabrous sandpaper of daily living

A physical reminder

Of memories and histories

That have not passed.

His death is as keenly felt today

As it was 50 years ago

Or yesterday.

The latest felled tree

In a long line of deforested land.

I will chain myself to my lover

And bomb the logger’s machines

And shoot down the lumberjack himself

Before they harm even a limb

I still worry that won’t be enough.

The conversation is the same every time

A corrupted MP3

On repeat for 400 years

Only now

We debate over it’s very existence

Does a colored queer actually rage

If there is anyone around to feel her?


Post the Sixtieth or Like This

I remember her like this

Black hair, nappy and natural

Wrapped in a gaily colored scarf.

Like this

The way her body moved when she spoke

As graceful as a pirouette

As powerful as a hurricane.

Like this

 The way her laugh would start in her belly

Move through her body

And shake the whole room.

Like this

The way her voice would

fill with passion

When talking about teaching

Or the flute

Or beauty.

Like this

How she always found the brilliance

In anyone

Regardless of the mess left by someone else.

Like this

How her eyes would brighten with fury

At instances of injustice

How she would rage at the racism, sexism and queerphobia

That claimed the lives of those she called Family

How she would rant about the brokenness

Of America’s Public School System

And still pour her heart

Soul

Mind

Into trying to save just ONE brown child

From that monstrous machine that would grind us to dust

And jail the entrails.

But I also remember her like this

Body ravaged by the harsh toxins of Chemo

Hands, pale and peeling

Hair, graying and thinning

Eyes, fearful and sad.

Like this

How she showed up to teach every day that

She wasn’t felled by that life-prolonging poison.

Like this

How she lay in the hospital bed

Mind racing faster than the Hadron Collider and yet

Impotent to speak

Breathing labored harder than the contractions of revolutions and yet

Holding on to life with every last ounce of power left in her.

She told me once

I thought I would die alone

I took her hands into my own

(They were already cold)

And I told her

Never

You saved this brown child and you will

Never be alone.

I remember her like the warrior she was.