Thursday, July 5, 2018


“If Kids Don’t Eat in Peace, You Don’t Eat in Peace”

-chanted by protesters Friday June 22, 2018 at Kirstjen Nielson, Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, at an upscale Mexican restaurant 

The thing you must know
and must not forget
is that for much of history
the calls for civility have been used
to crush civil rights.

We cannot ring our hands over nazis
because we should all know that it is
always okay
and necessary
and vital
to reject
professional bigots.

We cannot faint over calls to call them out
on the streets
in restaurants
in the White House
This is not a time that needs to bend to proper.

The reason the term Tender Age Shelters
turns red hot in your mouth
before souring in your stomach

is because of the word


tender like the underside of soft brown baby toes
tender like the fine thin bones in small necks
tender like the flower bud lips that open and close in sleep
tender like your eardrum that hears them crying
tender like back of your eyes each morning
as a new set of atrocities are laid bare.
Tender like your heart each time another white person
cries, this is not who we are.
Tender like the ears of a Black woman who has known her whole life
this is
who we are.

Right now.
Right now.
But you should remember that in
the next day
the next minute
even in the next second
you do not have to be civil anymore.

You can save what you can
and lower the lifeboats.

until you find
that new shore.

--Ally Malinenko

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