You are as you treat others,
and so you are trash.
Hide in your towers
and behind the Twin Towers
and in the wee hours
of the night on your phone.
You preside over us but
there is nothing presidential
about your throne.
You make enemies to make friends,
make walls to pretend
that our safety depends
on our distance from each other,
but today we stand close as a pack.
You come for our huddled and hungry;
our hunger beats your hunger back.
Miss America did not wake up
this beautiful. She stands in heels
but she is healing, combing out the tangles
of isms that bring her down.
She is not great, but she is better
than she was, and Mr. Trump,
she has a restraining order on you.
Welcome to our House.
I hope the bed is as uncomfortable
as you’ve made us. That the walls creak
as loudly as you croak about your wall. I hope
that actual monsters come out of your closet.
That a Muslim female doctor opens your heart
when you need surgery and that, at every turn,
you find latinos and blacks in high, high places,
so that you are reminded of just how small you are
(and how small your hands). I hope
you are evicted, because crossing our fingers
that a seventy-year old cad will change
will only give us arthritis, and we are too awake
to let you cut, one by one, the fingers of our hands.
To the white man on the radio
who said violence does not win causes
who said guns do not win wars
I open the annals of history.
The stems of arrows fed the wars
of the roses, and peace has only blossomed
in the mouth of a victor’s gun. Power
is not charity in a benevolent’s hand;
it is gold in a miser’s, wrested away, won
only by the push of force, the pull of reason.
I do not charge men to take arms now
but those in charge have them and abuse them
and let’s not pretend otherwise.
To the Arab man on the radio
who said (through an accent unmitigated
by years of cohabitation) that he has not
experienced racism (or, rather, perceived it)
and that therefore racism does not exist
I say: please, sit down. You have arrived
mid-conversation, and on this occasion
you have the right to remain silent.
To the black man on the radio
who said: Do not speak for us.
Do not tell us how we feel.
and who was asked then:
Why don’t you speak? How do you feel?
but whose words failed him,
I say: You’re right. There are no words,
and there are thunderous words
that strike with a flash of fury.
Like children they ask why the sky
is silent, why now it rips and tears.
Tell them: it has been carrying a load too long,
too big for even the sky to bear.