an-american-poet

iv. i am afraid i am an icarus, my love
destroyed by the flame of my own passion
even as i slip from the sun’s embrace
i am comforted by the destruction left in your wake
the legacy of your hurricane
—  10 reasons why an apology is practically a love letter: the private musings of burr
The closer we get, the farther away we are because we realize at that moment that the return is different than we imagined it to be. Yet, we continue to pursue the closeness because we want something of what’s passed. Perhaps there is no closeness nor is there distance, they merge somehow. Often we are closer in the distance. The same with absence and presence–we are often more present in absence, more absent in our presence.
—  Nathalie Handal, from “Poems Woven from a Sacred Thread: An Interview with Nathalie Handal, Passwords Primeval: 20 American Poets in Their Own Words, Tony Leuzzi (BOA Editions, 2012)
They try to preach
all lives matter
color is not a factor
we are all equal

how funny it is 
they can still believe that
because they have not been
gunned down 
the pigment of their skin
has not been chosen
for today’s target practice

you see
all lives cannot matter
not when the black ones do not
you cannot have all
when you leave out one

all men are created equal
yes that is true but
is that what you believe 

because it was written by a man
who himself owned slaves
and now it spills out of your mouth
the wrong way
every time you say
all lives matter
without understanding that
the significance of your life
has nothing to do
with the loss of a black one
when you do not acknowledge
that there is something wrong with a system
that already knows who it’s gonna kill
from the very moment a black baby is born

there is comfort in saying
that everyone is equal
because it cleanses your hands
of all accountability
because you cannot be held responsible
for something that is innate
in everybody
right?

wrong.

you are so far wrong.

words and ancient mottos
do not excuse what is happening today

the fact is the law is not straight
and it is murdering innocent people
so stop pretending like it’s infallible
and justified

because it isn’t.

black lives matter.

this isn’t about you.

not when you are not the ones dying.
—  To the white protester for all lives matter