Today we set fires.
Listen to the voices of your neighbors
How they hum in the hot air
Smell the sulfur, see it burn
Here’s the stars in our hearts, today
When I was seven I learned the motion of a pentagram
To fix lights in a reverent depiction of Harriet Tubman.
Five points, like knives. Shouldn’t we bleed?
We still have stars, if nothing else
To watch as we die.
And it’s a tired line, but it’s the same sky,
And we sit in the same sand, made of crushed bone.
Here lies: not a soul
The silence of forgetting
The names without faces
It happens just like that.
I will dance with you tonight,
And we will sing to the graves
Until their ears bleed, RED.
It stains your white dress, and we go round and round…
That woman who I gave stars
Crawled out of hell and dove back,
Again and again,
Raising them from fire, burning hotter
But it didn’t take long
To stop existing in the real way, when no one says your name.
Even the stains of tears on trails, blue, will fade away
Not with the same swiftness as names, but always ever closer.
In our mind it’s like an ex lover,
Their belongings have long since left the house,
And they only occasionally haunt our regrets.
How long is it by car to the nearest reservation?
Think about the ones without headstones
Our boys who tasted their own blood
Not long after the soft lips of a sweet boy
And then nothing else
And for that matter,
The ones who couldn’t be what they were told.
The ones who weren’t white enough to sit at clean counters
The ones who weren’t Christian enough to come to our parties
The ones who weren’t boys or girls or either despite
How we screamed!
Listen to them, until your ears bleed
Don’t worry about the pain, it doesn’t get better
Because the trade for buying their souls was owning them.
Today we set fires.
For the wars we started
For the girls who cried into ripped dresses
Drive a knife into false pride, so something new can grow
Hear them scream across time
Hear them closer than you thought
And for God’s sake:
Say their names.