i don’t want to (hurricanes)

i don’t want to see
the complex crises of war and trauma
converge around my neck
pulling my mouth to the dirt
a weight that pinches and bruises my skin
and the dirt is thick with blood and maggots
i don’t look down to see them writhing
i collapse with my head impossibly up

i don’t want to hear
that the grandmothers are dying parched
that the grandfathers are dying in the gap between prayer and action
that the hungry people sit in the dark
my country sends them armed soldiers to keep the peace, what we mean to say is die in peace
at the very least die quietly, without a fight

i don’t know what to say
i stand in the row of witches
whispering wild growth and sovereignty prayers
remembering upright trees and time to dance
hexing greed, scarcity and colonizer thinking
directing light to their faces – they are fact
and sometimes we watch each other die
that is the heartbreak of our species

when i don’t know who to fight
i watch Mervyn, Hiram, Rosa, Adela, Lilliam
Elizabeth, Bonafide, Aimee and so many more
waiting to hear about life and death, connecting the stars of this tired constellation, saying do not blame the ocean,
blame the men who refuse to see us
as human, as citizen, as heroic, as forever

i know this: i trust the people
who refuse every day to disappear
who share the cup, who share the bite
who wade through floodwater with bullhorns
hold hands of the dying and lift up the children, refuse to eat their neighbors’ hearts when left in the trap, bury each other whole, live to tell the horror stories, who watch the roofs fly off their houses and learn they are stronger than nails, who give it all to the babies, know the edge of their own hope, stretch themselves to cover an island, create systems of hearing each other with no lights on, hand us books that are memoir and say please know me, please tell everyone, please see, in me, in us, the miracle

we are not dead, do not forsake us
we are not dead, do not forsake us
we are not dead, do not forsake us
we are not dead, do not forsake us
we are not dead, do not forsake us
we are not dead, do not forsake us
we are not dead, do not forsake us
we are not dead, do not forsake us


actions to take:

from Rosa –
I can no longer wait to get to Pueto Rico. The lack of reporters who are Puerto Rican is problematic. So I am going to pull a small team together who can record, document and photograph..to do this I will need funds. I hesitate to ask, and ask that you only donate if it does not take away from your ability to donate to the people of Puerto Rico. If you can, believe me when I say anything is helpful and welcome. You can paypal me at clementerosa@gmail.com and VENMO me as well at @clementerosa

from Hiram –

from Bonafide –

from Adela –

Request for Support/Donations: I have been one of the coordinators for a project in Puerto Rico called CEPA. CEPA will be a cooperatively run, ecologically-light, wellness retreat and education center located (as of current plans) on the periphery of San Juan.

The founder, Melissa La Sirena Rosario, who is on the island got in contact with me yesterday and today, asking if I could help put Wellness Medicine Kits together to donate to the island. Here is the ask:

CEPA’s mission is to foster healing and resilience in PR in times of crisis. We work with activists, mothers, brujxs and educators, and are asking for 50-75 wellness medicine kits from our healing justice family to distribute for dealing with stress, overwhelm, pain and general trauma and tips for managing common ailments (diabetes and asthma) post Maria.

What to include:
-Heal-all salve;
-Muscular pain ointment;
-Tinctures for overwhelm, grief, stress and depression (either glycerine or alcohol based, labeled)
-Tips for managaing diabetes;
-Breathing exercises or activities for managing asthma distress (in Spanish);
-Games to play with children to process this event (or strategies for supporting children experiencing trauma);
-Durable bags or small backpacks for transport.
-A personal note of support, love and allyship.

-Self-heating pads/stickers for back and muscles;
-Advil or similar;
-Arnica ointment;
-Aromatherapy (lavender and more)

If you are able to help with any part of these kits, please let me know. If you aren’t able to support by donating something for the kits, but can donate to the shipping costs, please donate through Paypal at adela@adelenieves.com. Please choose the friends and family option, so we are not charged a fee.

For any questions or needs for clarity, please email me at adela@adelenieves.com and copy Melissa at melissa.rosario@gmail.com. She is slowly starting to receive emails.

If anyone is traveling to Puerto Rico soon and is able/willing to take some of the kits, please connect.

And of course, please share this with those you think would be able to help.