everything so normal it hurts

everything so normal it hurts

we travel roads fatal with nostalgia

remember how we used to see ourselves?

there is nothing more classic

than a film about a mistake, a bomb

but no mention of those dropped today

and movies about holocaust

as a singular occurrence 

not a pattern we have yet to outgrow


as normal, i peek at the gowns

trying to stay dry, but submerged

which way is up — which way

what we feared most is us now

right now in this moment

looking in at least two directions, lost

equally feeling the violently untouchable 

and the mundane unattainable

…is it beautiful, survival, or drowning


everything so normal it hurts

i sift time, searching for bravery 

finding round red pins, i thrill

i know what they’re made for

but does anyone else hear the cry 

‘end the apartheid, stop the starvation’

the wounds are all connected

this one night both hides and exposes 

our gluttony, our greed


the normalcy now swollen, taut, tender

pulled over the many words 

we are not allowed to say onstage or off

pulled over the broken bodies 

piled and uncountable all over the world

an empire of bodies 

such death was a special effect

until now, now we scroll the empire

we have almost caught up to ourselves


normalcy, shall we explode or implode

there is no fiction for sale anymore

we are the film where a white man 

ruins the world over and over

but didn’t he do it in a new, different way

the irish say free palestine 

the indigenous say free palestine 

but i want to hear you say it

each of you, through masks and makeup


share your microphone with the dead

they know it is not enough 

to tell your completed narratives

when we can change the story

some people are merely living and dying

but we could shapeshift history to future

be different again, breathe a new form 

we must be less afraid of our power

we must learn to root in love


today we are not a brave people

but we can see them all around us

one day we will shirk the gowns

or rise above the cowering 

hopefully (by which i mean with all prayer) 

before we veto the earth itself 

and all our sacred stories

so that one day we’ll clap, gorgeous 

watching our imperial memoriam