Them: an ode to Haiti

Life-less
floating
bobbing up and
drowning
lost and
can’t seem to find
reason
or rhyme
about to die
why are they
here
one
two
three cheers for progress
progressive politicians
leave them
wishing on
stars leading north
underground railroad
derailed
set sail
in broken boats
break my heart
Haiti’s broke
can’t fix it
don’t know why
find out,
cry
rivers of salty tears
wash away
socialized fear
year in
and year out
in search
of a new route
shit out of luck
Haiti’s long been fucked
act like
we don’t know
why
alligator tears
we cry
dry up
shortly after the storm
has passed
bye-bye
set sail
limb and life
risked
throw them in jail
if they make it
can’t take it
can’t handle
the truth
is
treason
and the show must
go on
during hurricane season
and they make
a convenient reason
to spread hate
on the campaign trail
without fail.

Strike three is
they’re black
so
send them back
call it “Repatriation”
Port-au-Prince is pretty
so it’s basically vacation
don’t feel bad,
so sorry the Gulf
swallowed your mom
and dad…

Strike two is
that they know what the
truth is,
the reason why
these tears they cry
are for ancestors
as much as parents…

Strike one is,
if it’s not yet apparent
the skeletal remains
clogged the drain
can’t flush these memories
from long before
burials at sea
can’t forget
no regrets
place your bets
with the universe
set sail for freedom
if you don’t die first
and then,
even if you make it
wake up
on the bottom rung
of society
staring back out
at sea
forever longing
for family
left behind
or swallowed alive
in that massive gulf
between
“us”
and
“them”

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