City Named for Her Fresh Gem Water

Hear what the Water

Keepers say. To survive,


the water

must be protected.

The Great Lakes


provide 21% of the world’s


surface fresh water. You can just look

at the cities surrounding them

to see how sick the water is.  From Flint


to the shallow Lake Erie’s branching, and her

iris burning sunset, the Lake Effect is deadly.


Woman Like a Tree

Sit there. Examine all

the damage extended to you

by men, the fucking


Patriarchy.  All of your scars

covered in myths

about fruit trees and serpents.  Feel


all the resent for the constant

narrative of your gender. The lesser

sex. The sexless woman. Wounds on her


knees from tripping up every step.

This Was Not a Candle Light Vigil


There were people from all over the world
there to protest at the Summit. I was

attending a lecture given by Vandana Shiva
about the crisis of water

in the 21st century. What she was saying was important,
and I was so thankful to hear what she was saying. Drums

were heard in the corridor outside the lecture hall. They kept
getting louder. All of the double doors of the room burst open

at the same time. People streamed in all the aisles. They all had red
shirts on holding candles and making gun shapes

with their hands. They were singing freedom songs
of Anti-Apartheid. My skin is white. I was young and naïve. At first,

I thought they knew I was
on the side of thoughtful and compassionate, but they didn’t notice

me at all. Everything is collateral damage to the cause. A riot
broke out. Outside the building…

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Biography of Children in Illegal Images

This is generic, so could     not

            possibly be

about love.  Maybe, I like

being that terrifying light

everyone falls for, even if those           fleeting


moments are only present

rarely.  Even if those moments

make the steel of my work

boots unusable.  Still,

my own light frightens me—


given how men become deranged

at the simple sight of my


body. Something

to conquer.  Defeat is

never a gift.  Only aggressors win

the right to narrative. Not I.  I


become just a thing


to pass around.  I’ve met

only one man who can even guess

the brittles which scrub so hard

my skin serrates in lines of red

from my feet to head

while I weep. When I think of you

never seeing

the light I found in the dead


museum locked deep inside

where no one can ever go

          except me, I know the world

is wrong. Light can radiate

despite fear     of        falling.   

                    The same

falling is felt when you


pulled down some crimson 


the gray

grainy mortar 

just enough


to let me shine 

brightest. Longed 

            for understanding—never

wished for, because I have never

met a man who didn’t 

want to

possess me

in some way—is an accident of the mind’s

failing.  You must 

stay alive for me.

The Weeping Song by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds



“The Weeping Song”

Go son, go down to the water
And see the women weeping there
Then go up into the mountains
The men, they are weeping too

Father, why are all the women weeping?
They are all weeping for their men
Then why are all the men there weeping?
They are weeping back at them

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While all the men and women sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won’t be weeping long

Father, why are all the children weeping?
They are merely crying son
O, are they merely crying, father?
Yes, true weeping is yet to come

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While all the little children sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won’t be weeping long

O father tell me, are you weeping?
Your face seems wet to touch
O then I’m so sorry, father
I never thought I hurt you so much

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While we rock ourselves to sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won’t be weeping long
But I won’t be weeping long
But I won’t be weeping long
But I won’t be weeping long

Postivism, Let’s Be Honest

Don’t get too comfortable.  There

are things people never want


to hear. Words are seeds. If you plant

someone else’s verbs you never know


what you mean. It is good to plant seeds

to both nourish body and spirit. But


when words become mindless copy

and paste, acting like authenticity, meaning is lost.


If facing the wound, itself, standing in your doorway,

could you look at all the blood, tears, broken bones,


bashed hymens—girls too young to count. I feel

the cost of it turning inside of me. What space


would you open to my body covered with dead

babies suckling my graffiti mile marker skin,


with their sweet lips dripping AIDS down my body

to pity at your feet? Could you open your cozy home


to the woman in the burka crying in what sounds

like something a terrorist could say? Is there the right


coffee, in your orderly house, for the little girl I carry

in my arms, the one who was raped beyond


what she could count, sometimes she’s too shocked

to notice the pain of penis ramming


anything it fits in? Could you even look

at her? Would you think it strange if a person


from the long past shows up to cry, not saying

an intelligible word simply reciting Landay, after Landay,


after Landay, weeping in Pashto?  Does the food

you offer nourish your soul, before you offer it


to others? You are right, someone is always

listening. Hearing what isn’t said is the hard


part. Would you open the door to someone who will

make you question your own ideologies,


instead of right click, click copy, click post window,

paste? Could you really take in the broken and beaten,


or is it just a coffee date? Why don’t you reach out authentically

only like you would?  Instead you plagiarize your heart


with someone else’s loving

thoughts.  I agree we need more love.