the root

Stop citing history,
The Facts,
the truth.

And begin

About race
& class
& religion
& gender
& ability
Or who i sleep with..

When will the minds of today
Live with the knowledge
What-EVER-we-do is a product
Of our theft
 And murder
  And erasure
     Indigenous peoples

That we're not the first
Or only
To love this land...

That our benefit
Not second cousin
Twice removed
Nor the parent of an aunt
through marriage,

But a stem cut from the root of humanity






and i mean

has set you apart
like the special connection
we have

not your name
which has, in its uniquity
in a billion dollar, million person economy
the element of surprise;
it is not quite the fact
that you got a boy's name
by accident,

or the nose ring stud
you wear so beautifully, elegantly
like a mother of pearl necklace
you are a diamond
as much as
a rose is
a universal standard of love

perhaps it is the way you had cared
for my grandparents and great auntie,
that you could be both beautiful and kind to others
would unlock the magic potion spell,
the ancient formula that
turns mercury to gold
stone to flesh
ash and soot
                   to flame.

even as though
everything has been done
every same word and poem
and letter memorized
and teased apart in class,
made memorial at a stroke of genius
written in an international exam
known by name and author and title
and line

i can't help but feel
we've just begun.
that some fleeting one-time encounter
has left me
with a forever memory,
etched into my bones
a pencil note to pick up lemons from the market,
a ring of string
to remember
           to remember
most beautiful darling.

i may have been just another sir
giving you his name and number
filed away as foolish and well-intentioned
taken in courtesy, found in a work pant pocket
a smile before break is over,
then tossed out..

but naïve as i am
i can't help but think
you would have changed your mind
had i lived in the same city
and showed up one tuesday happy hour
with flowers in hand
at the sushi place where you work.