Me Too

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I, too,
feel sad and confused,
I, too, dive into the sea of hurt
that weaves through
our collective past,
as the trajectories come to this,
a great unearthing,
a volcanic hurtling of
old stories churning
around and around,
maybe with nowhere
they can yet go
to be free.
I, too, do not want
to succumb to a
place without hope,
I do not want make the dance
that asks to be danced,
with powerlessness.
I, too, though, am here.
And what I would like to do
is bear witness,
to every one of you,
whose stories have mingles
over time
with my own,
and not just to the stories
that are clawing for visibility,
but to the glory of you,
who are more than your stories,
not less than … never that.
You whose pathways have helped
carve every beautiful line,
curve, and contour of you,
have given your eyes
their stunning inflection,
your heart,
its majestic endurance.
I am here, and I say,
Me too.
Me too.

– TT

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For Las Vegas (a poem)

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A life defined by loss,
whose very parameters
involve a known closing,
does not make it feel
any softer, or less shocking,
does not make death
smooth and silky on the skin;
the knowledge that
we are here, on this plane,
for such a short duration
comes as a surprise,
every time, and the sadness in this,
in the dawning of a realization
of our own mortality,
it’s a sorrow of deep wells
and hard, splashing tears,
because we are never ready.
Here, maybe, we can begin:
how will we choose to be
on this short journey
between moons, from
one to the next, how will
we will fill the days between
sun’s gracious ascent and her
regal return to the other side
of the world?
Will we allow ourselves
to be horrified to the core
when the sanctity of life
is violated?
Will we do everything we can
to storm against the unruly,
the unjust, and the terribly
violent, and work for truth
of our equality, for our equal
right to live freely, out of harm’s
way? Is there anything else?

– TT

Don’t Say My Name

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Don’t say my name,
see what else falls away,
which words drop off
the tongue in light
of this new consideration?
 
I think of the moon,
and the image changes,
the word alone
conjuring faraway
tapestries of night,
 
also forbidding, in their
very distance from
here. Why not place
faith, instead, in their
colourful inevitability,
 
should we do the work,
here and now, of filling
ourselves with the kind
of light that fills the
contours of tomorrow?
 
Why not remove the
name, the idea, as the
serpent sheds her skin,
the very sheath that
gave her a body, her
 
movement, knowing there
is more to come, knowing
that the movement itself,
which is life and love,
will take us there?
 
– TT

Let Me …

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If I can’t ease your suffering,
Let me listen to you speak,
 
If I can’t remove your pain,
Let me hold it, gently, with you,
 
If I can’t walk your path,
Let me walk alongside you,
 
If I can’t inhabit your body,
Let me cast my love on it,
 
If I can’t efface your self-judgment,
Let me be your gentle touch
 
If I can’t forage for your treasures,
Let me share my own with you,
 
If I can’t get you out of the dark,
Let me be your reservoir of light,
 
And,
 
If I find myself in your shoes,
If I need the same kindness as you,
 
Let me remember to find you,
Let me allow you in, too.
 
– TT

The Right Side of History

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I want to be on the right side of history.

We all do, of course, and we all have
our ideas of right and wrong, as though
every part of this were an open discussion.
We want to take the comfortable path
and be assured of our golden destination.
We don’t want obstacles along the way;
we don’t want the seamier side of the
fairy tale, only the ending, rainbow bright.

But there is a wrong side of history, we
know this. It is the side most of us won’t
be here to regret, mourn, or reconsider.
It is the side that bears witness to our
ugliest nature, that twists our own need
for comfort and security into a languishing
hole all those who are struggling will
easily fall into. It is the hole we will have
dug, depraved, with our own two hands.

I want to be on the side of history that
favours life, and that honours the sanctity
of the living. I want to be on the side
that remembers what it’s like to desire
the chance, no, all the chances we have
in us to imagine, for every last one of
us sentient beings, from beginningless
time until the never-ending. For all of us.

Here is how to recognize the right side
of history: it lives, it breathes, it includes,
it contemplates, it makes things better.
It never looks away. It never looks away.
It is full of hearts that can rest in the
knowledge that they beat the to soulful
rhythms of compassion-driven action.
It is full of people who hold hands, and
take every opportunity they can to listen
and bear witness. It is waking up to a day
free of bloodshed and the thoughts that
take us there, that can unfold and stretch
and open into all the infinite tomorrows.

– TT

Come Sit With Me

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Come
Sit with me
I want to say,
It’s been such a long time.
 
Maybe this place is unfamiliar to you,
I know – I am also, still, not so sure of it,
or even how I came to be here.
 
I’m not sure which of my histories
had to emerge, defiant and victorious,
from the rest, for today to take
the shape it has, or why,
 
Or how to contend with
my other stories, so stubborn and sure
(so much more certain than I am),
each cropping up, in turn,
to ask something of me.
 
Maybe it’s like that for you, too,
where you are?
I would like to meet you there
and hear your stories.
 
I would like for the act
of our communion, though,
to be our beginning,
to form the core of our existence,
both yours and mine,
 
and for the stories
to enlighten us without taking over.
 
Let us sit together,
and not scramble for meaning,
or dismiss the struggle either.
 
Let us take all of it,
hold it in the space between us,
and breathe and love and be,
you and me,
 
And start
the only place we can,
here, now, free.
 
– TT

I Stand with the Dreamers (for DACA)

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I Stand with the Dreamers

I am with the Dreamers
I awaken each day to the miracle
Of a sun that still,
In the face of all this, rises,
Grows strong and golden
And blasts us with a rush of warmth
Reminding us of time’s cycles,
Of renewal, and how brief it all is.
I want to use the time wisely,
To create the love and acceptance
And justice I want all around me.
I look at the sun; it is impossible,
Regarding its striking power,
To think of Earth, or any part of it,
As mine, as belonging to me.
In this way, I, like you, might be
Utterly, completely, blessedly free,
And am appalled at how quickly
It can all fall apart.

I am a Dreamer, like you.
I do not live where I was born,
I was not born in my parents’ countries,
And their parents come from
Another place still.
Is this not, going back far enough,
The state of things for us all?
I weep for the nature of circumstances
That took my ancestors from me
Before I could know their legacy,
That today grant me movement
And wrest from others
The right to their dreams.
For what holds us here, fragile and unsure,
But the dreams we carry with us,
That bear witness to our fear and pain,
That promise of a bright tomorrow
That will keep on expanding
With every dream that dares to fill it?

We are all Dreamers
In our pursuit of the pure and true,
In our wish to know that
Our pain can be lessened,
That our hopes,
Lively, imaginative and necessary,
Live and that they matter.
I stand with the Dreamers,
In a world that can only survive
And thrive
On the breath of every last one
Of its beautiful dreams.