Things We Are Meant to Fear

mni wiconi
grandmothers holding water to the sky
grounding on mother earth
standing at Standing Rock
working class native american families
with more than one irresponsible child
the audacity of the open plains
water protectors who wear the scars of struggle
across pockmarked faces and
ruddy hands
lines of teepees stretched across barren North Dakota
landscapes covered in early morning snow
sage burning
smudging sillhouettes
the cattle that graze too
close to the National Guard tank
names that end in Cloud
names that end in Brings Plenty
the trash they leave behind

brown boys
carrying candy
on my mother-in-law’s Easter couch
watching George Zimmerman finally be
charged six weeks after he
killed Trayvon Martin
“don’t these people have jobs”
“well what did they expect”)
hooded sweatshirts on young men
ink and rage
get out the vote
the audacity of hope
Obama’s tan suit
the idea that black lives might matter
hands up
don’t shoot
I can’t breathe
Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a
firearm on me
the name Philando
the name Botham Jean
the name Emantic
Fitzgerald Bradford Jr even when he runs into
the mass shooting to try and save a life
the fires in Ferguson
the mess they leave behind

little girls who arrive by boat
with neurodiverse messages
about the planet
completely unqualified to lead
a resistance to THE WAY IT’S
“Chill, Greta, chill!”
corporations giving in to pressure
and reducing plastic waste
clean energy
the audacity of youth
reduction reusing recycling
or recomendations that capitalistic greed
be accountable to the people
by the people for the people
carbon offsets
save the sea turtles
the hope of future generations
the name Greta
the name Tokatawin
the stolen TIME Magazine Cover
the past they leave behind

girls kissing girls
kissing boys kissing
boys kissing non binary folks
gender diversity in general
marriage equality
grandfathers who have lived in
closets their whole life
boys in heels in dresses in glitter
in wigs
mass celebration
the audacity of pride
the gay agenda to take over public schools
and force sexuality on children
during formative years
the name RuPaul
the name Ellen
my name is Jazz
the idea that someone could be born
this way the choice to live wild and free
and authentically
the love they leave behind

an unsecured border
migrant fruit pickers picking
unsecured fruit
undocumented children in
public schools
the healthcare we might have to provide
children outside of cages
a world without a wall
Spanish as a second language in
we wouldn’t have to take away their children if
they’d filled out the right paperwork
the right way while they fled for
their lives
the name Juan
the name Maria
the name Jesus
the audacity of hardworking hands
the crime rate in El Paso
the jobs they’ll take
the way they make us look
the stories they leave behind

shelter in place
stay at home
cease work cease making
money cease your way of life
surrender your freedom to the
potentially unscientific research
recommendations of doctors
and PhDs
the audacity of safety
viral misinformation
fake news
Bill Gates
the Chinese
the almighty dollar
the campaign for presidency
the right to bear arms
the first amendment
Asian American nurses
two or three percent death rate
you can’t hold me down
a falling stock market
an unsigned stimulus check
essential workers doing
essential work
the lives we will leave behind