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
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
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.