Young Revolutionaries

To the messiahs of our time:
I hope the words of poets like me
sooth your time behind the barricade.
This is for you, young revolutionaries.
This is how you survive.

They will try to tear you down by calling you a snowflake.
They will use other names, and the weight will be overbearing.
But remember that when they use an element of a storm to refer to you,
They are doing you a favor.
You are an avalanche of kindness, of gentleness, of righteousness.
You are the water of a tsunami
and no matter how many times they try to break you,
they cannot stop the tidal wave
from coming to shore.

There is no freedom when some of us still wear forced shackles
that bind us to this unholy land and its tempered people.
There is no freedom to come when they have us gripped by the throat
demanding our silence, our patience, our obedience.
They can leave marks on our battered and bloodied bodies
and we will use those marks of hatred as points on a map
that lead us farther from where they are
and closer to the resemblance of freedom.
we are worlds away from our oppressors
and also right on their tarnished doorsteps,
chanting, screaming,
"No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!"
"Fuck Trump! Fuck Pence! This country's built on immigrants!"

So give me your tired,
your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe freely
and continue the fight.
Because it doesn't start with them,
it starts with us.
It starts with us screaming until we cough up blood,
and then screaming some more.
It starts with us raising our hand to the bitterness of humanity
and clenching our fists around it until our palms bruise violet.
They will continue to crawl down our throats
even when there is nothing left to give.
They will offer nothing but sickness and muted silence.
They will expect you to be grateful.
Spitting them out or swallowing them whole
is unfair to your withered soul and bright eyes.
We must chew them up, bit by bit,
and finish them with their own medicine.

Our bodies have weathered ten thousand different kinds of storms,
each one worse that the next
and yet our vessels have not collapsed
within themselves like rotting caskets
suffocating under too much pressure.
We count our hurricanes in our dreams
and hear summer days in our nightmares.
We have the strongest set of bones I know,
hearts made of starving silver,
but I cannot promise you
we will make it to the end alive.

Because with revolution comes loss,
and with loss comes heartache.
There will be days you cannot breathe
because of how much hurt has arisen.
You will choke on your love like its chloroform
and it will be a reminder that sometimes,
it's supposed to hurt this much.
There are some sins we cannot scrub clean
no matter how much the soot stains,
the fibers hold us together.

So, to the martyrs of our time:
May the changes that you bled an ocean for
echo in the swell of humanity as we grow.
This is for you, young revolutionaries.
This is how we survive.

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