war kills people from the inside out sometimes
“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”
i think i’ve posted this before but it’s so powerful
reblog every time
“And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.” - Joseph Rodman Drake
He is taking a course on Marxist ideology.
He says, “The only real solution is to smash the system and start again.”
His thumb is caressing the most bourgeois copy of the communist manifesto that I have ever seen,
He bought it at Barnes and Noble for twenty-nine U.S. American dollars and ninety-nine cents,
Its hard cover shows a dark man with a scarved face
Waving a gigantic red flag against a fictional smoky background.
The matte finish is fucking gorgeous.
He wants to be congratulated for paying Harvard sixty thousand dollars
To teach him that the system is unfair.
He pulls his iPhone from his imported Marino wool jacket, and leaves.
What people can’t possibly tell from the footage on TV
Is that the water cannon feels like getting whipped with a burning switch.
Where I come from, they fill it with sewer water and hope that they get you in the face with your mouth open
So that the hepatitis will keep you in bed for the next protest.
What you can’t tell from Harvard square,
Is that when the tear gas bursts from nowhere to everywhere all at once,
It scrapes your insides like barbed wire, sawing at your lungs.
Tear gas is such a benign term for it,
If you have never breathed it in you would think it was a nostalgic experience.
What you can’t learn at Barnes and Noble,
Is that when they rush you, survival is to run,
I am never as fast as when the police are chasing me.
I know what happens to women in the holding cells down there and yet…
We still do it.
I inherited my communist manifesto,
It has no cover—
Because my mother ripped it off when she hid it in the dust jacket of “Don Quixote”
The day before the soldiers destroyed her apartment,
Looking for subversive propaganda.
She burned the cover, could not bring herself to burn the pages,
Hoped to God the soldiers couldn’t read,
They never found it.
So she was not killed for it, but her body bore the scars of the torture chamber,
For wanting her children to have a better life than she did,
Don’t talk to me about revolution.
I know what the price of smashing the system really is, my people already tried that.
The price of uprise is paid in blood,
And not Harvard blood.
The blood that ran through the streets of Santiago,
The blood thrown alive from Argentine helicopters into the Atlantic.
It is easy to say “revolution” from the comfort of a New England library.
It is easy to offer flesh to the cause,
When it is not yours to give.
Literally, ignore them.
Don’t invite any parts of them into your space.
Every time a dictator falls from the throne of history, embellished with our tears, I clap my hands until they glow red. But back home when I turn on the television; another dictator flows from the mouths of the people… from a screen glowing with cheers. I die with laughter at my naive self. Tears burn my eyes until they glow red. - Adnan Al-Sayegh
*Kurdish boy, Anafal 1981
Yeah there’s that. Now a show me a racial breakdown. It’s seriously sad.
My mother never sat me down to tell me
that humans may run the world but
they don’t own it; that they are the assistant
managers to the hotel they keep finding
new ways to trash, that they build their
society over whichever insecurity is the loudest,
that we, as a race, crave power more
than food, that we will allow others to
starve in every way possible because of it.
My father was a psychology professor, in love
with metaphors and cognition, the way the
human brain could memorize the lyrics to a
song they heard once on the radio but forget
their wedding vows, the way memories are
held differently, like new parents meeting
their child for the first time compared to a
young woman gripping pepper spray by her
side while she walks alone at night.
My father was in love with the way people
formed their sentences, the way people
remembered whose birthday was on
which day, the way people played instruments
based on their lineage and ancestry.
My father was so in love with other things
that he was divorced twice before he
realized being a psychology professor
does not necessarily mean understanding humans.
My father was a psychology professor,
divorced twice, and raised a daughter to still
believe in the infinite nature of marriage.
My mother never sat me down to explain that.
My mother never told me that I had a right to be strong.
Instead, she put me in gymnastics and dance class,
insisting that playing soccer and drums were
simply my “brother’s things”, while I watched
dust gather on the hi-hat, while my brother
sat and picked dandelions on the field. She told me that I couldn’t watch action films because there weren’t any musical numbers.
That I couldn’t take karate because I wouldn’t
make friends. My brother was put into hockey
while I was forced to figure skate. I wasn’t allowed to
touch the knives while making dinner at fourteen but my
brother could play first-person shooting games
at nine years old. I was put in a box as a child,
covered in glitter with a neon pink sign that screamed
‘GENDER’. I tried to understand why it was okay
for the boys in kindergarten to play war but not okay
for the girls to draw with blue crayons. At seventeen,
I’m still trying to understand why, whenever I lift anything,
a man will say: “That looks heavy. Why don’t I take it?” as
if I haven’t been carrying the weight of society’s
prejudicial opinions of my strength on my shoulders for years.
My mother never sat me down to tell me that
not everybody makes it out as the good guy. That movies lie.
That the person I fell in love with doesn’t have to win
every argument just because I don’t know how to
stand up for myself. My mother never sat me down to
tell me that arguments don’t always mean makeups,
that sleeping doesn’t mean feeling rested,
that being scared of abandonment is not irrational,
that sometimes hot baths just make you sweaty and sad,
and that no species on Earth has learned to hate
each other as humans do.