Friday, August 4, 2017



Do you want to know more about our organization? she asks.
We are wandering around the Arab American Association Bazar
in our neighborhood, dodging the heat as much as we can.

Do you want to know more about our organization? she asks
and I duck into her tent.
Sure, I say
and she talked to me about Palestine
as I sign up for her newsletter.
You can write what you resist against, she says,
on this piece of paper and we’ll post it.
I ask how to spell oppression.
I hold it up and smile,
giving the peace sign
as she snaps my picture.
I buy a button.
She tells me what it says in Arabic
but only minutes later
I have forgotten.

It was something about resistance.
About activism.
I sit back in the shade and watch Linda Sarsour
and her body guards.
I want to go down there and thank her for the Women’s March.
I want to thank her for putting her body in the fight.
In a way that I am not.
But I do not have the courage
even as I watch other people do it.
Being here is supposed to make me feel good
but I’ll spend the rest of the day
thinking that I am not doing enough.
That I am phoning it in.
That I am a fake.

That real activism,
like what Linda does
means something.
That all I’m doing is throwing
money around
trying to clog up
the unending holes
in this sinking ship.

That if I was braver
I would drive down to Washington
and burn it down.

That somehow
in this year
getting up every day
and trying to be a good person
to be kind
to listen
to learn
isn’t enough anymore.

--Ally Malinenko

No comments: