Intertwined

How convenient to be the savior in a land you raped

To be the hero to a people you massacred

Do you feel elevated as you now extend a hand in aid?

The very same hand which was before, curled into a fist that beat countless souls into submission?

Do you feel cleansed in the praise of others like you—

playing at honest living, as you mute the ones who would speak truth to you?

The ones whose pasts were altered from promise to cruel death

Whose futures were shortened

Whose breath was stolen

How convenient to be the slaver whose bosom friend is amnesia

Who can drink to unending promising days,

While walking past the memories of deplorable misdeeds inhabited in their living descendants

Do you feel unburdened from your ancestors’ horrors?

Do you blanch at the thought you’re responsible for stitching closed the neglected wounds left festering for generations?

The hands that delighted in the mischief of wickedness can never be made clean

They are too deeply stained with the lifesource of my predecessors

They cannot unstring

unbeat

unrape

unsell

They can only be cut off

And the sword of justice must be wielded by you,

For the battle we face daily is due to an unremitting war yours created

ASL | 3.1.2020

Inspired by Roxane Gay’s Ayiti

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