Thursday, October 6, 2016

No More

October is domestic violence awareness month, and I was asked to write a poem for a vigil for domestic and intimate partner violence tonight for a local organization (shout-out to Hopeworks, who does fantastic work!).

Do you know about the "No More" campaign?  The theme of tonight's vigil was "No More."  No More domestic violence.

I want to live in a world where there is no more domestic violence.  No more sexual assault.  No more abuse.  Let's say no more.  

No More

And the women say No More.
And the men say No More.
And the children and elders
and my trans-sisters and brothers
queer and straight, we
gather to grieve and rage and hold one another because this
is how we reclaim our lives.

We converse with silence and the echo of doubt
until we are hollowed.
Raw hearts rarely show the bleeding:
we arrive again with strangers who bring
the intimacy we crave and pocket
like poems. Some moments
are small enough to fit under our tongues, but we hold them like
beacons of hope.  This breath breathes
power into our lungs as we
fight to embody the subtle whispering of ourselves and
the weights we carry. 

Violence takes.
It takes air, and energy, and blood, and
life, and all we learned to live by.
We spend our days learning
the motions of moving our words from our shoes to our fists,
from our fists to our hearts,
from our hearts to our mouths.
We turn on our voicebox like a
sprinkler of truth-missiles;
tie our heartstrings to moonbeams to practice the art
of rising from darkness:
there is no prescription or miracle.
No love letter or checklist.
No law, or scripture, or prayer that rights this world,
there is only this-
the gravitational pull of your life to the moonbeams and the ways you rise.
The power of remembrance and owning your sanctity.
Candlelight, and murmurations of
the strength of survival

A poem is so small  --
it is only words on a page, spoken and then
gone; I want to be large.
The vastness of my embodying reaching
out so I can expand to exist
beyond this:
take my hand and we will make
the moon.
Let’s beam her large,
together, rising holy into the darkness, saying:
hear me.
Believe me.
Value me.
Warrior with me.
Listen when I roar
when I whisper
when I beg and write
and pray:
No More.