stand our sacred ground

Tribal Starters:
  • “We don’t give up, we fight.”
  • “If no one dies, we consider it a very a dull event.”
  • “You must make a sacrifice.”
  • “You will make a great warrior.”
  • “We’re not so different after all.”
  • “I sacrifice myself.”
  • “There’s no use fighting it. The Gods have already chosen.”
  • “I don’t want justice. I want vengeance.”
  • “It looks like you found your spirit animal.”
  • “Before you become a warrior, you must pass our Grand Trial.”
  • “We’re family. This is what family does.”
  • “It would appear the leader wishes you consume this in a peace offering..”  
  • “The next time you raise a hand to me will be the next time you have hands.”
  • “You do not deserve your title.”
  • “Kill him!”
  • “Get knocked down, stand back up.”
  • “I was sent to assassinate your people.”
  • “I’ve come bearing a peace offering for your leader.”  
  • “We do not tolerate traitors here.”  
  • “Tonight we celebrate peace. Tomorrow we go to war.”
  • “You are not welcome here." 
  • “It is not considered torture for those who deserve it.” 
  • “When all the animals are hunted and all the land is demolished, only then will you learn how useless money is.” 
  • "Leave him/her/. She/he is wounded, and she/he is going to die.”
  • “Hold on to what you believe,
  • Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.”
  • “We cannot stop our people from falling.”
  • “We shall rise again, and we shall rise to greatness.”
  • “Riches will do us no good. We can not take them with us to the other world.”
  • “I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of a nation.”
  • “I am tired and I will fight no more.”
  • “The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the dust and blood of our ancestors.”
  • “One does not sell the land its people walk on.”
  • “I will teach you the song of my/our people.”
  • “The Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.”
  • “The traditions of our people are handed down from father/mother to son/daughter.”
Eulogy of Leelah

Leelah.
I wish I knew you. You lived 5 hours away,
Down south by the river.
Your blog showed up on my feed
A few times, and I always found you
Beautiful, funny, kind.
It’s taken me so long
To write your obituary
Because I didn’t know until now
Your pain, the suffering that was only lifted
When that semi smashed into your skull.
Today, I sing for you. I want you to know
That I wish I could have taken you
Away. I will vandalize your grave,
Cross out the name that is more dead
Than your broken body,
Raising up your skeleton and replacing the suit
With the blue dress that showed off your curves
You loved so much.
I draw curves on my stomach sometimes
To convince myself I have them.
I think you do the same.

Leelah.
What a beautiful name.

They never tell you in school
What to do when someone you never knew
Dies.
They don’t tell you that her absence
Creates a black hole that sucks you
And everyone you love in,
I am stuck in beige hallways
Listening to the stories red in color
Of all the suffering your sisters and brothers have known.
You only found strength
In the one thing you could control
And for that I love you, Leelah.
Your pain is mine, it is yours,
It is hers and his and theirs and zhirs,
It is in every candle we light,
Every lament we write,
Every anguished scream out to the sky
Asking God, “Why?!”
Why have you torn everyone I loved apart.
Why is my body not my body,
Why am I triggered by every touch
On my delicate arm
Because they might be the man
Who tore me to shreds?

Leelah.
What a beautiful name.

They said the Garden wasn’t for you,
Or for me, or for anyone
That was like you.
We light candles for you,
Your heart, for a moment,
Becoming one with ours.
When I stand here on the sacred burial ground
Of your shame and suffering
I think of other times, midnight drives
And smoking in unmade beds,
The only place another queer feels safe
Is with another queer, and a lot of times
Not even then.

Leelah.
What a beautiful name;
I hope you would have felt safe with me.