Turns out it’s tricky
to write about the splitting
of earth beneath feet
the rattling of hearts in their cages
the scrambling of stunned souls.
But I owe it to you
to try
This is not the world I wanted
but it is the one I helped to create.
And when my words cling to the walls of my throat like dust
I must cough
spew flecks of truth
I owe it to you
who sought safety here
only to be dragged by the throat
slammed against walls.
Cracked in half against the kitchen sink.
I owe it to you
killed for wearing the wrong skin
In the wrong street.
Your protectiondoes not protect you.
I owe it to us, my sisters
whose bodies scream “Touch me.”
Whose leader nods, “Go ahead. Touch her.”
I owe it to you, my ancestors.
We have been here before.
Do you remember we promised,“never again?”
Was it too much to ask-
to simply exist?
It doesn’t come easy
to expose wounds
that weep fresh blood
But I owe it to you
my dear ones
to try.

JULIA RUBIN is a writer and educator from Boston. Her work has been published in CrunchableThe Breakwater ReviewHello Giggles, and others. She believes in the power of writing for empowerment, connection, advocacy, and social change.