for the staten island moores, in grief

for glenda and damian moore, i cannot even comprehend.
for connor and brandon moore, rest in peace.

this goddamn country
sometimes
sometimes it just takes too much

i heard about this woman
running all around in this maze
thinking she was free
just free to keep her children in her arms
but the storm took those babies
then
she thought she was free to cry for help
to wail, inside, behind white doors
help, she just called to anyone
to take her in
to make a room for her to fight for life
to grieve
to bear down through the transition

this country ain’t bethlehem
or any kind of goodnight story
this,
with our black president in tears,
is the state of our union

we are free to buy anything
even in that prison
you can get a hold of just enough
to taste that bit of freedom
on your own sucked tongue
that tingleloin declaration
you are still alive
to suffer the walls

there is also freedom
to learn those things
that will keep you docile
until you forget –
yes you mostly forget
i have seen it –
that you asked about freedom
that you longed to evolve
your life wasn’t a small talk
it was a monstrous awakening

and when you saw injustice
you called him out by his name
you showed him the way
out of your heart

this goddamn country
how can we look in each other’s eyes
over those babies’ bodies
how can we stand with any dignity
when you treat us all like this
and we stay?

talking about freedom
something to teach, fry, export, drop down
in a parachute
or guide in for explosion, by computers
but i really want to know
what freedom

freedom to suffer in silence?
cause they made us hush up
our hands, our languages
freedom to beat our babies?
like they beat us
to break us mind you
to break us
and still we do this
freedom to turn away from suffering
when it huddles in your doorway
bereft
freedom to close the door
and sit in the dark
hoping it all goes away

if i could
i would banish you
from the realm of the selfish
make you forget
the word i
poison you with wonder
and spirit
til you grew mad with love
mad with it
you goddamn country
you self-loathing multitudes
you who have my blood on your lips

just yesterday
just yesterday i came here
and already and again you have broken my heart?

i mean is there a freedom
that we can’t see?
a definitive human freedom
which permeates all of our prisons
the prison of the racist heart
the prison of the victim heart
the prison of those strangers
in staten island
who didn’t know death
when she came to the door
whose souls died when her boys died
and is there a freedom
from that moral death?

can this country
flooded with blood
let go of the
sharp instruments
let go of trying to cleave
us from us
atom from atom
master from slave, inside
inside of us

let go of that whip
chain, trauma and bitterness
let go of the belongings
that sicken your soul
with envy and longing
that you value
over the small stranger full of tears

let go of that

what freedom you might find
in your empty guilty
forgiven hands.

who comes to your door
is the mother of the new world
and somehow
someway
your house
is coming down.

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