I wrote this years ago for my brother. Somethings don’t change. I couldn’t save him then, and I can’t save him now.
today I wanted to carve the words
carve them into my skin, so
all could see
what I am
when we spoke, had you asked, I might have told of the holes – I carve – inside, maybe you could have seen the ardent slice ripped out, to quietly lay at your deeply restless…
when I would be doing other things,
I write words inside my head.
I write words for you as I inhale,
words for you as I exhale.
I write because of your warm hand, the way it felt on my shoulder
I write so I do not close my eyes, and lean back into that comfort
I write so I can leave without reassurances.
I write the words so they brush lightly across the page, touching sightly; I write…
I am not Mike Brown. I am white. I am middle class. I am female. I am small. I am not considered a threat. When police see me they see someone who looks like them. They see their mothers, their daughters, their sisters, themselves. I am not at risk of being shot by police for existing while black. I am not at risk of being shot while unarmed. I am not at risk of being shot while armed with nothing more than a BB gun. I am not at risk of being shot for reaching for my wallet. I am privileged.
But I am outraged. And if you aren’t outraged, then you aren’t paying attention. This is America in 2014. This is our reality. It’s so easy to get jaded and to ignore these atrocities, to act like this doesn’t affect us. It’s so easy to get apathetic. In the past it was the youth who protested. Where is the rage of the youth? Where is our rage?
Like I said, I am not Mike Brown. But I am outraged.
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
—Philip Larkin, The Mower (via fishingboatproceeds)
mostly mad ramblings