Yes there are days when
I have wanted to be here,
however few they may be.
Have wanted to be the letters
spreading their cut arms.
Have wanted and wanted
in a puddle of reasons
to hate, found ways my people
have blessed me in ways
only my people can. Praise be
to covalence and the sweat
in the crooks of our elbows
as our arms are joined.
Praise be to what is praiseworthy:
which is to say
us and our simple fact of being.
Come sweet communion,
after sleeping conflict
coloring my nails purple.
I am sorry for the blood I have drunk
and called good. I am sorry
for the pain I have caused
but not for the pain given to me—
the needles in the pudding,
the plodding and prodding
of a million tongues, bumpy and wet.
We who have known fear:
we are something better than holy.
Let us be holed up together when we need,
and out in these streets as often as we can be, too.
I offer us nothing specific for the future because
I am trying to stop
making promises I can’t keep.
In this way I am trying
to be less like my country.
To be less like how I have felt love.
There are many pages
whose edges are stained red
with what of me I have left behind.
There are many spaces in which I have
imagined my empty body
decomposing. Oh how sharply I wanted
to be in each. But how I wanted to find a name
as a synonym for you, tomorrow.
I am not asking for you to tell me it will be good.
Just tell me at least we will continue to be.
Let’s start there.