White lights reverberated hallelujah across blue sun kissed rivers
in an endless chorus of need we are free
Free to believe that we have endless opportunity in a sea of nettles
tightening their grip on every wrist reaching for salvation
Pushing their way up to the great promise of a burning red dream
screaming passion in their sheets as they drip with the atrocities
the atrocities of the people,
for the people,
by the people.
the people who are chained together by the stripes that freed them
I reached my hands into the pockets of my thrifts store jeans and pulled back another woman's trash, her ailments.
As her Halls wrapper crinkled in my fingers I contemplated her struggles.
Drowning in a sea of chamomile tea and honey trying to inhale the sent of Vicks vapor rub over the smell of stale bed sheets and wilted flowers.
Was her path so different from mine?
Did she kneel in her wine stained carpet to watch her life move around her?
You came to me that night with singed thoughts
spinning wildly around me as you questioned-
I could only watch as you carved madness into scraps of paper.
While your skull met my bedroom wall
Only for you to run into the street and set fire to your findings.
It was then that you spoke to me for the first time that night
I need to go to the hospital.
Folding my self into the chairs of the only emergency room I trusted
I counted my breaths.
As your mother counted the ways that this was her fault.
Until they unlocked the maze of doors that lead to your sterile prison.
But there were still no answers,
only therapeutic needles to the hips meant to mute the mania.
But it could only stun yours to sleep long enough to be moved
to a bigger behavioral prison
The next three days were a series of
and locked doors.
Waiting through a supposed 72 hour hold.
But in this world weekends don't count.
And once again I found myself folded into a waiting room
as I met your grandparents.
Immediately forgetting their names
because all I could do was wonder,
If my sanity was falling just as fast as you were.
I found you barefoot in a new pile of paper madness,
careening in a suicide proof wasteland.
Your eyes seared through my sockets as you whispered to me-
I want out.
But your blood was polluted with experimental drugs
and your fingers were twitching for a nicotine fix you couldn't get.
You some how managed to silence your body long enough
to convince them your mind had followed.
And that for you weekends do count.
You came back to me no longer singed but burning.
They eradicated your sanity and pretended to send it home with you
in a bottle of pills.
I watched you piece what was left of it back together.
So now we could wade through the remnance-
for it to all happen again.
With bile splattered journals in hand
they spoke with arrhythmia
palpitating misery in their poetry.
Now they tear the roots out of their skin as
their left ears are numb to validity.
Logic is a mere fallacy as they are
emitting blood soaked words.
And the populace heeds no warning,
blinded behind a microphone,
they are deaf to their own soliloquy.
Eight years old I knew.
Fourteen years old I spoke up.
Which left six years.
Six years of scraping up the meanings in the speeches.
Six years of mother’s eyes glaring down at me
six years of being tone deaf to the alter
as they were falling to their knees.
But I could never see the power in his hateful symmetry
and I never felt the need to see him bleed.
Six years of congregations dancing gospels
as they hoped for a refrain.
But I couldn’t see the glory when I read between the lines.
And they were climbing paper mountain triumphs
to strip away their sins.
But humanity is a permanent mark on the skin.
Bodies pile up in the streets brigading a cardboard hysteria.
As voices compete from concrete witness stands-
their testimonies have nothing to win.
Closets have been sighing for decades as hangers lose access to safe spaces,
and personal choices are inked in the wrong color of skin.
People are crying for Justice but she bears no sympathy
and no tears trace down her hardened cheeks.
Lady Justice had her eyes carved out long before we were tracing the streets with a new generations woe.
And Justice was supposed to be wiped clean of ugly Bronze Age philosophy.
But the dirt of old testaments will be forever embedded in her nails.
As she claws her way through people she is left not caring for the chalk outlines at her feet,
the ones that litter the street like hopscotch that children will never skip.
Picketers are screaming but she will never hear their cause.
Her eardrums were shattered in the last centuries cries of ruin.
She will only hear when the ballots speak.
We lived in a haze
as nicotine coated the sky that summer
and you were coughing up cacophonies
creating caustic clarity
until you were smothering me.
Lamenting our subtle insanity
we were burning up from our fingertips
without ever moving an inch.
Berating concrete jungles
laid out in strip malls.
We dropped whispers in beer bottles
and manifestos in ash trays.
As snide judgment sneered through slitted eyes
and snakes gave way to tongues.
We built an empire in disintegrated misery.
So write this down:
Blame not the tabloids.
Blame not the patriarchy.
Blame the generation.
As they are blissfully jaded
and they are propping up our pedestals.
As they crown us with misguided jewels
in awe of our fortress.
But then the smoke thinned
and the air bit our skin.
My ears burned with antipathy.
It was dripping off our pens
as your words turned black against the fire.
And my mouth grew numb before me.