Since Juneteenth is the perfect day to think on what it means to carry on in the work of fighting injustice, I wanted to share this poem with you by Malkia Cyril:
What Has Yet to Be Sung
in tribute to Audre Lorde, June 18, 1992Backing to breaking down I always come to why, to the unfair, painful part of life which runs through everything like children’s crayons or mud streaked into the secret rooms of my house. It gets easier and easier to sit and watch the sun set forgetting how it rose how the glow lifts black children’s faces toward tomorrow and another chance waiting with everything that I am to know the world and fill it up with one mighty word one poem to rage catastrophic on my enemies one powerful poem to fly past silence and bleed will into children trapped by public schools and private traumas. Forgetting in between spaces that deny opposition I invite chaos; the only directio for me is out. Audre, I am learning not to sacrifice belief, not to murder hope. Still sometimes I wake in the middle of the night screaming dark alleys and an ex-lover’s body desecrated and buried in time for papers to catch the story. That is not the whole of life, whole–I can’t explain is where she took me, is where you bring me to become the poetry of our mothers, the survival of our fathers to love beginnings taking trips back to loving hands into the sit back, yes on track stand up way Audre had of obliterating silence so that even while midtown maniacs with billy clubs are smearing our future with blood we know we are still the plenty of our love the height of promise. I have known a woman who was a movement in my life, like welcome back to love; we become the women whose tongues have been stabbed and sing anyway, the women who learn from teargas and tears how to make a bomb cry, the soul rise to meet the earth crushed under buses splintered onto sidewalks we learn death is not the end of life that language and change are the beginning I want to be a beginning for me for you.