It's The End, It's The Beginning: Reflecting on 2016
Compiled December 24-31, 2016. Released January 1, 2017
+ 11.9.16, Emma Eisenberg (Click to Expand)
The night before we voted my body knew something I could not yet imagine: Build that wall, they say. We are going to rebuild our bridges, he says. Our roads, our airports. When they said, I’m dying, I said, go ahead and try. I thought we lived in a land where he was a joke, where even though the feeling might be: I’m dying the action is not: die. It turns out that we live in so such land and I am the last one on earth to learn it.
We thought it would be a celebration. I made a chocolate cake. My friend made bread with poppy seeds and another, a crackling wit, a woman from Iowa, who grew up alone in a sea of hate and swam two thousand miles and very fast made cheesy potatoes. There are beans on the table, and lint, and we are almost thirty and have lived the last eight years under Obama and Emily Dickinson the cat screeches between my toes.
This morning, in the only safe room my kitchen, cold windows, vinyl rug, I held onto the sink and then I held onto the trash cabinet handles and then
I was on my knees below the sink looking up and out the window at my neighbor’s house— Miss Shirley, church crown on Sundays— attached to mine by a brick wall and I found that my mouth was open and my body was open and I was saying please, and I was asking please, and I was asking it from a God I do not imagine.
When he said, Every life matters in America, I did not listen. He doesn’t tolerate things that don’t Work, they say. He will never forget who he works for. He works for everyone in this room. When he said, We are going to win, we will be strong again, the strongest in the world, never again will we be trampled, I did not let it in. I built my own wall around my body, my house, this neighborhood: queers on dates, tea in the afternoon, clinking cups through plate glass street windows where Tara who is black and Michael who is white each hold a hand of their child Marco— five, in a pink snowsuit. Back on my block and Venus’ sons are being harassed by the cops again and I stand with a gallon of milk as just another witness. Don’t forget to seal your windows, Ms. Shirley told me. I forgot.
Why does this country hate my body so much And why do I feel like I am little today a little girl of ten maybe or fifteen. That wall feels familiar I’ve built it before around my body: Touch me and I’ll kill you. I spent another life tearing it down. We were there in that room and my friend was wearing sex handcuffs around her forehead and her boyfriend—gentle, because gentleness is the highest reaches of strength— was stretched out on the floor in a poncho and we lived in this neighborhood and it was flawed and I loved my life.
+ Houseguest, Philip Matthews (Click to Expand)
If you were Satan, you’d be pissed too, asked to kneel
before god made flesh, not even, the prototype of god made flesh, the practice round, idiot man stumbling through the garden, god’s legs
keeping him upright. Then came the woman with an actual brain, who is closer to the idea god has. Let’s call her Petal, who reaches her
claw to the thin-skinned fruit, that in picking, finds her her hand, in eating, finds her two lips like two rosebuds that can
speak, rub and vibrate, pop and ring, aloud as well as in her head, in contract with the garden snake, finds her her twice-threaded DNA, both godly and human, which was
god’s idea in the first place, god in the first place. At Christmastime, the Christians bring
the tiny breads to their mouths. I carol along with them, even I have a sun-god to celebrate the coming of, the solstice pushing back the winter’s night
like an eroding shoreline, Satan’s wingtip picking up slack earth, until black as the land he is working in, he brings forth wheatfields to feed us, in daylight, firelight, shepherds
dozing among them, more vigilant at night. I can almost see the raised scythe. I wonder what my mother, ordained, is thinking
as she shares the fire in her hand with me, who was born again and now is not, pagan in a sheep’s wool, taking the sheep’s breast in my mouth, as twelve
deacons, all men, stand ominous in candle-shadow before us.
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+ "politics.jpg," Anonymous Submission (Click to Expand, Seizure Warning)
+ "leadership.jpg," Anonymous Submission (Click to Expand, Seizure Warning)