My people are beautiful
their bones are made of stone
their blood, vines that tear walls apart
their skin a gift from the sun that binds our wounds to our words
My heroes never said they were going to give their life
for the people,
for the land,
for the infinite horizon of our communities
They just gave their lives,
some in prison for life,
some in known and unknown graves,
others living in poverty,
all of them never surrendering in life or death to capitalism
This is not a metaphor:
My people are beautiful because
we carry the sky on our backs
we hold all the seeds in our hands
Our bodies are the land herself,
gestating and self-gestating the future
because the past is
more than half freedom and struggle
more than utopia
tilting the earth in a bow of gratitude
No bullets and walls
and their black-and-white presidents
can destroy us.
Our martyrs can die
shopping for groceries
celebrating garlic-y pleasures
dancing the night away
crossing the desert under a canopy of north stars and constellations
shot or run over by racists
shot in the back or in the front, choked, beaten, tased and left to bleed to death by the police
Our martyrs are unarmed,
sometimes not even with an inkling of defiance,
not a bone of discontent,
because we have food, a place, lovers and loved ones,
a job, and we think we are the world
Our martyrs-to-be do not forget the fallen
and carry the wounded to the safety of their hearts.
We inherit the martyrs
their unfinished life
There are no random bullets under capitalism
There are not random shootings
There are no random drive-bys
There are no random prisoners
Our colors make us its targets
The state has paved over the natural world with violence
There is a bullet for everyone
There is a bomb to bring humanity down to its western civilization knees
Who feeds the U.S., who feeds the world?
Whose land upholds the roots?
Whose land continues being enslaved?
Who makes war, who sucks the oil out,
who poisons the water and then bottles it for a price?
Who makes the world long for a different world?
Who longs for a past without this future?
Who longs for a future without the having to relive the violent past?
I still want to sleep with you
cuddle, hug, kiss, comfort me
before i go out into the world
the tenderness of my family
the self-determination of my people
the colors of our skin
the awe of our babies and ancestors-to-be
My people are beautiful
They make the land flower
They make the clouds and the rain sing
They tend to our wounds with the colors and the songs that only they hear
My people are invisible to the neoliberal eye
My people’s words are muddy, tasting of big bangs and communal circles
What do you see when you see yourself and me?
Who do you hear when you talk, think, sing or walk upon dusty paths?
My people are beautiful because we caress our wounds
and carry our dead the way they want to be carried:
[August 5, 2019 | Oakland]