we fell like a swell of rising seas, swarming the capitol city:
D.C., a bastion of vitriol, bigotry, and inequality.
we were demonstrating in the streets when she kneeled on the concrete,
a bit of scarlet chalk treasured in the palm of her hand. all around,
people were dancing, singing, laughing. she smiled to herself and peered
over at me when she thought i wasn’t looking. a paisley red bandana hung
from her neck like some outlaw out of the wild, wild west,
challenging all authority. grim cops looked on, faces obscured
by matte-black helmets, guarding the twisted tower looming over our globe
like an ancient deity out of time and space, a leviathan effacing the world.
she etched a symbol of defiance and solidarity into the cement and, in that moment,
she embodied anarchy, the mother of order, a guiding north-star.
Turnover spills from the speakers. she hums along, her foot on the dashboard, tap-
tap-tapping along in-tune, attuned to the road, nose buried in an Angela y Davis book.
North Carolina interstates fly past us and i wonder absently
if the words hit home for her, too:
losing you was like cutting my fingers off.
you can catch a glimpse of grief
in her eyes if the morning light’s just right,
filtering like a double-shot of caffeine into your bloodstream
through the forest canopy flanking the highway.
you can feel the melancholic heart-ache lingering
like old wounds even time can’t seem to heal whenever she forces a smile
and pretends to be—if not happy—then at least “alright.”
authenticity is our only refuge against the creeping ennui,
the choking vise-grip of social hierarchy. how seldom do we rise
like lions from slumber? shake off these chains of misery.
empathy leaves us crippled constantly, wishing we were dead—
believe me, i share your burden. it’s been said that our integrity
is the very last inch of us, small and fragile. yet, within that inch,
we are free. so, braveheart, find your feet. this dying world so desperately
deserves a love as beautiful as yours, yearning to set the captives
against their masters. and when we shake the streets once again,
pirouetting beneath a banner slashed with black and red,
beloved, do not forget that you, too, are endlessly adored.