the war never here

my nerves electrified, attempt to jump ship with the slightest whisper of sound. it was only the air conditioner’s clack, clack, clacking into autopilot, though. nothing serious, you see. nothing like the spontaneous plummet of black bombs under their white orders, they shrieking hello as they drop in for an unwelcomed visit. again. and again. and again. and still more. 

war. the only whisper heard there are the suffocated cries of the almost dead, the soft whimper of excruciating loss. 

this is how i know i’m far from it. these nerves terrify easy.
 
what is it like to feel grave uncertainty?
___
palestine,
your ever-rooted people
and your tortured borders,
are with me.
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chemical weapons kill over 600 people in syria today.

i dare you to watch the videos of rows of motionless brown children laying on cold dark cement floors in makeshift hospitals. i dare you to hear the screams of Allahu Akbar by husbands and sons clenching onto their dead loved ones. i dare you to witness a child convulsing attempting to live a little longer, to witness a young girl with white froth bubbling from her mouth and nostrils, to witness the lungs of all those half dead violently searching for breath.

what will it take for us, for me, for me, for fucking me, to forsake our comfort to really begin to be in solidarity with people trying so hard not to die? like getting in the street rather than posting shit on facebook, like intervening in public rather than creating “safe spaces”, like making war felt.

if we remain comfortable, we remain complicit.

“In two days, you and the rest of the world will forget about this massacre the same way you forgot about the rest that have happened over the last 2+ years in Syria.”

gentrification or “urban renewal” (really a term used to invisibilize displacement of peoples) is essentially colonialism. when a place has endured a removal of lives, when its new inhabitants have joyfully erased its natives’ forced exodus (or have appropriated it to show progressiveness), when the process of “renewal” has replaced a natives’ culture and history with what is ahistorical (shiny shit that is used as an agent of forgetting), when there are forces of state violence (in this case the cops) protecting the lives and property of its new residents, what is it but colonization?

its appearance is just more comfortable to swallow now.

gentrifying san franscisco

when i cease holding focus with my breath, when my thoughts, stories and imaginings begin to hold me instead, physical discomfort (and essentially most internal sensations-pleasant, neutral and unpleasant) cease to be noticed as well.

how often am i held by mental activity of what had once existed, can possibly exist or will exist, instead of feeling the seemingly imperceptible and constant change that drives my body and spirit?

how often do i use distraction as a method of leaning away from discomfort? when am i able to lean towards it?

sometimes i have these out of body moments where in the midst of quiet, my spirit is pulled to some place i haven’t quite been. i see something, i feel many. and then i’m back. tonight it happened again.

as i sit here on this sunday evening, reading my book nestled into soft brown couch with big warm blanket, war is happening.

so many with bullet wounds, bare stomachs and steel bars as their only windows.

so many fighting for their last breath, first meal and second chance.

so many with so many others yelling, pleading, whispering “freedom.”

this comfort is ugly.

it arrives with a pool of red sweat and carcass.

it arrives because this land is its graveyard.

it arrives because we crave it too much to stop it.

our comfort has become our only privilege and it has become dangerous.

dangerous enough that we will cry, die, slave for it rather than for our freedom.

dangerous enough to keep us chained to our tv, to our desks, to this couch rather than to the streets, to the struggle, to our people.

dangerous enough to kill us.

and tonight, unlike most nights, i smell death in the comfort of my own home.

this place not feeling like home still is hitting hard these past few days.

i have an immediate reaction when something big&tragic hits the u.s. because i know all who they will immediately line up as culprit and i will fear the backlash against those/my communities, i will sense intense racism rise, i will tell my family to “be extra careful”, i will see the emotional inequity between tragedies- the outrage over a tragedy that hits an unsuspecting place because privilege rests there and not a sound for those who are more “deserving” of tragedy (i.e. those in prison, those in occupied territories, in war zones, those who are muslim and inherently terrorist, those who are black and inherently criminal, those who are any shade of brown and inherently illegal), i will await new heights of racism, dehumanization and violence through vigilantism, “security policies” and war and i will know that if the perpetrator of the tragedy is white that no war will be cast against their land, no stigma attached to their race, no analysis to “understand” the characteristics of their people and no subsequent physical/emotional violence (or threat of) to anyone or anything associated with them. and after all of this upsurge of seeing- history, present and patterns- and feeling my immediate truth attached- my rage, sadness, righteousness- i feel shame for losing my ability to empathize even amidst it all. every fucking time something tragic happens here, this is the pattern.

and it is a fucking lot.

i have lost something too.

i

woke

up

A N G R Y

today.

over 55 dead in bombings in iraq. 
the deadliest day in over a month.
-

4 dead in u.s. drone attacks in pakistan.
-

ongoing hunger strike in guantanamo 
leave inmates nearly corpsed.
-

capitalism exploiting bodies, 
neoliberalism exporting displacement and 
occupation binding movement.

cue rage:

how dare you mourn the loss of the lives taken on your soil of red, white and blue

while you wage war on every land and people with skin of melanin

while our dead lay nameless

killed by

your police

your policies

your capitalism

your justice

while you remain patriot to a flag that hungers for power

while you carry gandhi posters, peace signs and chant

“YES WE CAN”?

.

how dare you call us

evil, violent and inherently suspect

after you’ve

gunned down,

bombed,

starved

and tortured

our mothers,

our fathers,

our families,

our people,

our land.

.

how dare you take away my ability to

grieve?

i lay awake

angry

heartbroken

for just as you

do not mourn

the loss of

our people

by your patriotism,

i can no longer

mourn the loss of

yours.

today i mourn self

for i have lost something too:

a mind that moves beyond the comparison of suffering

and a heart open so wide that it can hold the pain of

all who suffer.