i feel like sister warrior charity hicks, who has been central in the fight for water rights in detroit and is currently in critical condition after a hit and run accident, is in my dreams sending me poems and anger in my daily meditation on her.
the current state of affairs is this: the u.n. has warned detroit that turning off water to force the poorest residents to pay exorbitant bills is a violation of human rights – you can only turn off water if you can prove that people could pay the bill but are not paying.
our daughters cannot be thirsty
this whole summer long
dust tongue dance of desperation
blossoming bodies, arid fruit
our sons cannot be parched
long limbs pressing black skin
through the tar sand streets of july
ratchet prayers for rain
our elders should not be anxious
after heavy lives holding all our dreams
now water becomes memory in the dark?
dry begging whispers with no teeth?
our babies cannot be sustained
on ashen breast or mother’s tears
as david checks face goliath bills
they will become our thick sweet rage
we who are human cannot taste
our own bitterness for so long
without becoming the silver spear
that righteous edge cuts out from within us
for now we look naked before you
hands cupped in the heart of
needing (begging) only (pleading) for water
but life creates conditions for life
the phoenix may burn, but first she is water
look into our eyes before you upset us
we water warriors, we survive