On Bringing up Destruction of Waters in Polite Car Conversations with Strangers

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your name exists a scratch beneath the surface of my skin
has simultaneously made its way into the marrow of my bones
they say there is no place like home
but what about when
place becomes body
and body becomes place
and space and place become words that are much too narrow
to hold all this definition that defies defining
in this narrow distant language
in these words building up space between body and place


she runs through my veins now
water mixed with blood
journeying with me
that has endured a little poisoning by man                                                                                                                         we are so much a like in this                                                                                                                                              she has showed me how to be resilient
taught me how to heal myself
washed away my stubborn and said, this is how you yield
cleansed away my broken and said, this is how you overcome


they ask me your name for the sake of small talk
what – is – that – main – water – body – where – you – are – from
I do not summon your name for entertainment
do not want to speak of you offhandedly
in sound bytes to split up the silence in polite car conversation
my bones ache and rise in your memory
your name is wounding and healing on my tongue
“that’s just terrible what they are doing with that dam up there”
I do not have the words in this language
to break down how you became body, became bone
to talk of loss in this ever failing and shrinking English vocabulary
I do not have the words of my people to say this either
I give them monosyllables and remain staring out the window
because I cannot unpack this in the distance between here and an airport


I half beg you to crack through concrete
to show them your power
make them sorry
We are always so pitiful
Humans. Trapseing around this plane of existence as if we are the only ones alive
You laugh at me
Have I taught you nothing?
Remind me that it was you who showed me to love unconditionally
I want fire when you are water
you whisper to me
I will always find a way
There are things in play
That I am not yet ready to understand


I yield
I overcome
I listen
Knowing that man can never silence you                                                                                                                                                                that    you   are  body  and  body  is  you

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