Kaddish Symphony or Why We Can't Wait

candle lifted up in the foreground, sea of candles in the background

So it is better to speak

Remembering

We were never meant to survive.

Audre Lorde

 

It’s the smell of cigarettes, gin and sweat

acrid smoke from incinerating bodies

salt of blood and sweet perfume turned sour

The sound of a tree branch 

creaking from the weight of the body inside the noose

Percussion whistle of a fire hose 

spraying down children, families, grandmothers

Terror and dread when you hear those footsteps approaching 

Subtle clutch of a handbag against the ribcage

sweep of a glance that renders you a criminal, a freak, a security threat

Wrong place, wrong time, wrong neighborhood, wrong body, wrong country, wrong bathroom, wrong clothes

Missed my stop, my medication, my ride

Even if your loved ones school you on survival strategies

Even if you have a PhD, a sugar daddy, health insurance, a good job, a nose job, a Grammy, a lawyer

Straighten your hair, your tie, your skirt

Shave your beard, shave your legs, take your meds

Change your name, change location, change clothes

I can’t wait for Yizkor

I’ve already started calling out the names

George Floyd

Breonna Taylor

Rayshard Brooks

Ahmed Arbery

Sandra Bland

Trayvon Martin

Sakia Gunn

Emmett Till

Matthew Shepard

Gwen Araujo

Tyler Clementi

Philando Castile

Michael Brown

Keep going

Tomorrow it might be you, your child, your lover, your teacher, your neighbor, your grandmother

Today we can write

sing

cry

talk

listen

rage

pray

pay

hug

heal

touch

laugh

vote

feed

read

drum

chant

circle

walk

stand

speak

We don’t have to do this alone

I don’t care if you call it God, Buddha, Allah, Jesus, Yahweh, HaShem, Mystery, Nature, Higher Power, Justice, Truth, Peace

Stand for Love

Start right now


Updated June 16, 2020

Updated October 31, 2016

Poem