464 Readings | 2 Ratings

In Praise of Ambrosia and Nectar

In Praise of Ambrosia and Nectar

 

I don’t feel safe in Walmart

 

I don’t feel safe inside the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado

 

I don’t feel safe protesting at Kent State the bombings in Cambodia during the Vietnam War

 

I don’t feel safe in front of someone in a black T-shirt, a russet vest, a backwards baseball cap, black military cargo pants, black boots, and grip gloves wandering the campus of Virginia Tech

 

I don’t feel safe watching Eagles of Death Metal

 

I don’t feel safe strolling through Newtown, Connecticut

 

I don’t feel safe inside the Pulse nightclub, outside Ned Peppers, in the art room at the Santa Fe High School, on the first and third floor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

 

I don’t feel safe anywhere within the purview of the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel

 

I don’t feel safe studying for finals at the library on the Santa Monica College campus

 

I don’t feel safe at garlic festivals, at music festivals, at synagogues, or mosques

 

I don’t feel safe in Chicago, in Thousand Oaks, in Aberdeen, don’t feel safe in Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Scottsdale

 

I don’t feel safe in Waffle House

 

I don’t feel safe inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs

 

I don’t feel safe in Tehama County, California, in Aztec, New Mexico, in Highlands Ranch, Colorado

 

I don’t feel safe anywhere with the purview of the clock tower on the grounds of the University of Texas

 

I don’t feel safe at 6221 Osage Avenue in Philadelphia

 

On November 3, 1979, in Greensboro, North Carolina, I didn’t feel safe

 

On July 1, 1993, in San Francisco, California, I didn’t feel safe

 

On November 2, 1999, in Honolulu, Hawaii, I didn’t feel safe

 

On February 19, 1983, in Seattle, Washington, I didn’t feel safe

 

In Madison County, Montana, in Meridian, Mississippi, in Meteor, Wisconsin, I don’t feel safe

 

I don’t feel safe at the mail processing plant in Goleta, California

 

I don’t feel safe at the Amish school house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

 

I’ve never been to Christchurch, New Zealand, but I know I wouldn’t feel safe there

 

I don’t feel safe in this grocery store where everyone is speaking a language other than my own

 

I don’t feel safe in this liquor store where everyone is speaking the same language

 

I don’t feel safe with the words I have to describe the emotional tenor of my interiority

 

I don’t feel safe around fences

 

I don’t feel safe without them

 

I’ve never felt safe in prison

 

I’ve never felt safe in the armed forces

 

I’ve never felt safe in front of a podium

 

This stuffed animal brings me no safety

 

This real animal seems safe enough, though it could at any moment lash out

 

I don’t feel safe with winter coming so soon

 

I don’t feel safe in front of men I don’t know

 

I don’t feel safe in front of men I do

 

This kind of talk doesn’t make me feel safe

 

Look at how my lips move

 

This talk doesn’t make me feel safe

 

Look at how my lips move and no words come out

 

No words at all

 

It’s like standing underneath a fruit tree

 

A tree whose branches retreat each time you reach for nourishment

 

And then it’s like standing in a pool of water

 

A pool which recedes whenever you bend over to drink

 

Tantalus cut his son to pieces, boiled him, and served him to the gods

 

And this was his punishment

 

To feel the tantalizing certitude of safety just out of reach   

 

 

                                                                                     8/6/19

 

 

 

Posted 08/08/19
Comments (0)
Would you like to leave a comment on this profile? Join Ink Node for a free account, or sign in if you are already a member.