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Inauguration Day Reflection

four years ago, I watched seas of red wash over the capitol building,

fire and brimstone

and cries of American carnage

perched in the rumbled

of red and white

and a crowd of much-contested number

four years ago, I watched seas of pink wash over dc streets

and then we felt like thunder

and petticoats of storm

we swelled and shouted

and the sky turned pink

and the moon

and the steps of the White House awash in our gendered nomenclature

four years ago, felt like a reality

unbeckoned by boxes

unchecked by usual reserves of power

and these past four years

have felt equally


like someone opened a door

a door we assumed was locked

dusty metal

and turned the handle

and discovered lawlessness

afresh beyond the border

discovered beyond the door

there were no fences

or barriers

just collect $200 when you passed go

have you ever tried to fill a moat on the beach with only your cupped hands

over and over you run to the ocean

bend down

and your hands are full with brine, and sand, and sea

one step

two step

and your hands are empty

our hands have been empty for four years

I feel like we’ve been handed a bucket finally

someone found the key to the door

instituted a guard

we stood

we withstood

I wonder if the door was meant to be opened eventually

if this was an inevitable passage of the American story

to be human is to be pushing boundaries

pushing, because all we know is forward

and backward and sideways

and movement

maybe this is why we have glass ceilings

we need something to break

to shatter

mazel tov

but today we do not hear broken glass as we did two weeks ago

today is for soul

all of my soul is in it he says

my soul

our soul

is here today

souls do not shatter, they bend and mend

they pulsate

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