Mourning Song

I have given it a name. The Bleak

this beast it bites and in its bullets

are coffin nails. Those nails I hear them


this sad work. This goodbye . This ready fear

and hate that wants to consume.

Will it stop for nothing?

On it savages and we are groping because we are

life. Larger than our skins, our thumbnails

our predatory perceptions.

I am raging and I must find the quiet.

Words are weapons shaped like guns and madness.

Words are the threads we hang ourselves with slowly

suffocating wisdom, history, and grace.

Words are the joining of hands and songs lifted

someone’s voice saying “Love is Love” and then

words are the threads that can save us, the Bleak

is more afraid than we.

This quiet breaks me.

I am dust, the breath of you now in and out I am

that ache in your chest and the light coming

through your kitchen window.

You are with me now. This slow moment I can’t promise

redemption, answers,

or that safe is not an illusion.

Only this bright feather, this haling light

waits. It waits and we must have it.

The Bleak may come today and tomorrow.

And we mourn.

Then we sing.

And our song will be heard in Washington, the polls, the drumming

sound of our feet marching the grounds

of hometowns and let the beasts feed off the apathy

we leave behind like shed skins.

Let them hear us coming not in fear or hate

but in choruses of grace and hope and

motherfucking love.



My heart is with the families and friends of the victims in Orlando.

To hear the acceptance speech given by the lovely Lin-Manual Miranda that helped inspire the more hopeful ending of this poem, please visit this link.


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