Monday, October 3, 2011

POETRY: Resuscitation by Any Means Necessary

This poem was inspired by the following people: Keith Stiles, David Berube, Kenyon Farrow, Ashe Helm-Hernandez, Paulina Helm-Hernandez, and all my nieces and nephews especially the children of Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria and Nubia Esparza.

Resuscitation by Any Means Necessary

I. The Wedding

They gave me life
with their “I do,”
filled the room with satyagraha
Soul Power
and soul food
filled the spirits of the congregation of the community
unity behind this most holy union
Africa and Mexico joined in beloved matrimony
a bond we will help them hold
as they have held us
loved us
gave us life
in that old deep Southern style
sweet like cornbread ought to be
sustenance that we can feel
joy that we have seen
like the prophet said, “If we can't love and resist at the same time, we probably won't survive”
they gave us survival

II. The Murder

He gave life
to Troy Davis
brought him back from the dead
just a few days after Georgia killed him
He said, “Black bodies and innocence are an oxymoron.”
We done passed the point of righteous indignation
this nation has a place for us: prison, the streets, a box in the ground
He holds us down, keeps us real, gives words to the rage we feel
when we lose another black brother
to white supremacy
watch another lynching
on cable tv
this one done with a needle instead of a rope
but don't get it twisted
September 2l, 2011 was a good old Jim Crow picnic
while we ate, they set another nigger to swingin'
so this minister of the people spoke out
He gave us back Troy's spirit
raised his voice to almighty God
and gave us the key to our own redemption

III. The First Responder

He gave me life
that night in Central Park
Bethesda watched over me
kept me close
in the darkness
wrapped her wings around me
held me
until He could arrive
His voice got to me first
from above, like an angel
He came for me
a single phone call
a ten digit 9-1-1
and He was there
must have ran
the 10 blocks and two avenues
to get to me
before the paranoia could take me
it wouldn't be the last time
He saved my life

IV. The Family

They give me life
remind me with giggles, Skype messages
video recorded Glee covers
why I fight the fights I fight
it's not just for me but to see
a day when babies don't have to be taught swordplay
in the cradle
and the hurdles we've leaped over
will be dismantled
shackles hacked off
so that the ones that call me Uncle
and Tia (Aunty)
can dance (and giggle)
until this life is over
never knowing police brutality
or the need to Occupy Wall Street
those precious little feet will walk in Heaven
on Earth
give birth to little revolutionaries
with no need for a revolution
but who will stand love watch
over us all

V. The Puma

He gives me life
in the Thunder Cat mornings
Panthero and Liono
greeting the dawn in each others arms
He sees me as I am
and as I may one day be
believes in me
like I could part the sea
if I put my mind to it
sees beyond the modern day leprosy
understands my reality
but wouldn't let HIV
keep his love from me
it's humbling
the way he holds me against the sky
I fly when I am with him
I live when I am with him
I live
He gives me life
they give me life
I live

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