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And the thing is, this is not
some nightmare we could
wake up from, and find
that things are back
in their tidy places.

The longer we stay still,
the more time we give them
to take our curated memories
and smash them against
the breakwater, where they
will flail against the murk
and slime of undoing, before
their limbs, tired and entangled
in algae and spun lies,
give up the fight
and mournfully sink

to the dark bottom of being
a people without identity
and with but a discredited
recollection of what brutal
past we once survived.

The people who are counting
on the consummation of our
love affair with forgetting
understand that timing
is everything. They’ve crouched
in wait for decades, exhaling
smoke screens from their
gargoyle mouths and moving
their cheating chess pieces
all across the board while
we were not looking.
Setting the stage for an ambush.
Their fingers and alligator greed
itching for their turn to flick
the switch back on and
watch the whole world burn.

Like scavenger rats, they scurry
over the filed-away documents of
the heroism that used to bind us,
emboldened by the way we get
preoccupied by the commonness
of our pains, by how little it takes
for us to fall into being rabid
instruments of what has been
designed to destroy us.

They do not rest.
And neither should we.

Plunderers standing at
the palace gates, flanked by
their attack dogs.
Victims weeping over
piles of spat-on bones.

This is not some nightmare
we could wake up from.

Every day we fail to act will
be swallowed by prickly weeds
where facts are buried
in unmarked graves.
Every gap in the page will be
filled with forged testimonies
supporting the version
that paints them as saviors.
Every unarmed child will be
made fair game and turned
into an echo chamber for
their prized revisionism.
Every ounce of apathy
they will alchemize
into corrupted gold.

We need all hands on the table.
All voices. All channels
of righteous indignation.

We are not sleeping, but please
make sure we are awake.

Image from the Marcos Not a Hero protests
by photographer Aaron Favila


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