Powerlines – Poem


~for the families of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church


I get red in the face

when no one reads me

when I spend too long in the sun

plotting rebellions

against the powers

I want to (have

already) become.

Plug in, use me, I’m offering

what I can. I get red in the face

because my pale skin

hides nothing, my body

a product of learning

from books more than

bending over dirt rows

or danger. Because I don’t

have to justify my anger. I wonder

if we all crave the same

kind of love, a tire-swing

tambourine kind of love, a border-

crossing bravery kind of love

a healing through

whisky kind of love. I

get red in the face when

I drink too much, when

I see my role in staying

silent, in holding

my yo-yo higher to throw

off the people who care.

The love we all want

is walking down the street

in safety, in the dignity of

practicing faith or holding smiles

like we are entitled this.

You are entitled this.

I am so ashamed of

the violence I don’t know

how to confess. Today

I am red in the face

because I am white

and I can’t tolerate this

kind of killing

anymore. I will speak up

pen through the powerlines again

and again, I love you

thank you, forgive me.




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