Author: ruminationville

Me Too

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“I had three bottles of wine on election night. I got in bed after Pennsylvania, and stayed there for a week. I’d only get up to use the bathroom and get more wine. I’d have left the country by now if it wasn’t for my elderly mother. I’ve weaned myself off Xanax, but I haven’t recovered. I still watch MSNBC all the time. I’ll spend entire days on the couch. I’ll wake up with Morning Joe and go to sleep with Brian Williams. I’ll get on Twitter during the commercials and search for any hint that somebody’s going to be indicted. I know way too much. I know the name of every congressman. I know their district. I know what percentage of the vote they got. Before 2016, I hadn’t purchased a book in twenty years. Now I buy all the political ones. The scarier the better. I even got the Omarosa book. Nobody else wanted to read it so I thought I’d take one for the team. I went to DC for four different protests. And a few weeks ago I drove down to Mexico to see for myself what was happening on the border. I’m obsessed. It’s not healthy. Recently I was able to cut myself off from politics for about a week. But then here comes Brett Kavanaugh and I’m back on the couch for three days.”

From Humans of New York, January 16, 2019

 

Tea for two

Two Teacups and Saucers

For quite some time I have been relatively silent here. I could say much has changed, but you would not know it necessarily: As always, I seek solitude wherever I can; typically wear loose, dark clothing, with black as a preference; and remain folded in melancholy, though generally I can keep a sense of irony about things.

I also remain steadfast in the love and devotion I feel for my daughter, and I still believe I am called to serve the fragile. If years back you had asked me how I felt about my father, my mother, and my brother, I would have said that I loved them but that I might have died from their dark betrayals. I would say the same today but would add that I am myself besmudged.

Still I have more and more come to accept my nature and my past: I have made so many grave mistakes, particularly in relationships. Yet, I do not think I could have done otherwise, and perhaps I should not have done otherwise. More and more, too, I am roiled by rage as I watch men (and, sadly, women) who do not seem to possess even a trace of self-knowledge hurtle us toward the end of days. But I am less and less afraid of my anger. In fact, I can welcome him in now and can delight in pouring us a cup of tea. We have much to discuss, he and I.

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“Home”

A 2-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018

by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.

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