It’s been more than two years since I woke up one Friday
To news alerts, to dozens hurt,
To notifications of our brothers and sisters in the midst of their supplications
Finding their conversations cut short.
We rallied for our people against the threat of destruction,
Against supremacists and rhetoric calling for execution, for extermination, for extinction.
But two years on those headlines have faded into a vast ocean
More red than blue
With Mariana’s own depths paling into brightest white in comparison.
The men and women who left that day have gained companions
In the dozens, the hundreds, the thousands.
And so vast and so deep are these waters that it takes the invocation
To know which Friday that was.
To know which news alerts.
To know which dozens hurt.
A mob bearing the confederate flag marches into the Capitol of a nation a world away, Home of trendsetters TSA, “land of the brave”
And they call that desecration.
News alerts abound once more, shouting from the rooftops -
Endless images of men and women by the dozen storming through
Halls hallowed by slavers and war criminals -
Months of noise, of headlines, of talking heads,
Months of endless debate, of condemnation in the face of what they call desecration.
But here we have silence if we are so lucky as to not have lies instead,
Crickets in an echoing cacophony that rings loud and true even as bombs rain down upon Palestine,
Even as our brothers and sisters fight for the sacred privilege of
Living just one more day.
Even as a firestorm rages in the dead of the night in the skies over Gaza
And the polished black of jackboots stomp on the hallowed steps of Masjid Al-Aqsa,
Their people, our people, my people, are left to shout it for ourselves -
In the blessed month of Ramadan a world away
Before I make my way to the table for sahur
I wake up to news alerts,
To the knowledge that children made their way to the kubur
إِنَّا لِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
I wear white on the morning of Eid, and as I button my shirt news alerts ring out again of
Our people a world away dressed in white, too -
Just a handful more drops in that very same ocean,
Clad in white sheets that hide the truth of their pain.
Short lifetimes of war cut short in the discomfort of their homes
Or the hallowed halls of the Mosque toward which we once prayed.
There is no grey
in the decimation of families,
No grey in the blood of children,
No grey in being driven from homes occupied for generations,
No grey in attacks on worshippers in the midst of their supplications,
No grey in stun grenades among His congregation,
No grey in the body of a 60-year-old mother bleeding in a shattered street,
And no grey in the sheets of white that cover every wound.
And those news alerts, they speak of conflict,
Of fighting, of aggression, of ancient tensions,
But say nothing of desecration.