It’s Just That I’m Not Really into Politics

by  HANIF WILLIS-ABDURRAQIB

 

violence begets more / violence / or so I’ve been told / but all of this country’s skyscrapers / are still standing / despite the blood / that builds a boat underneath the tongue / after speaking its name / violence begets / more photo opportunities / at the feet of a burning / temple / I show up to the resistance / and someone hands me a rose / the color of surrender / violence begets thirst / a new thing in need / of clean water / once / towards the black / and spotted sky / I raised a fist / inside of a glove / sewn in a country / torn apart by our bombs / I purchased the gloves in a store / after midnight / from a cashier who wore a picture / of her daughter on her chest / and looked as though she might have been crying / before I arrived / violence begets a hunger for warmth / at all costs / I sit in a running car / and count all of the things / yet to be swallowed / by the horned ghosts of empire / If you make your own prison / you can find your own map / to freedom / the smoke from all our engines / is beckoning the sun / close / the oceans are rising / to the height of a child / sitting on a mother’s shoulders / pointing to the horizon with a single / trembling / finger