in a friend's apartment watching
people who look like me die
on the rooftops of their houses,
die face down in flood waters,
die on the sidewalk
in front of the Superdome.
Now I sit an unhappy vigil
on the third floor of an office building
staring at photos of people
who look like me crushed beneath concrete
they used to call home.
All I have ever wanted is
to be safe, to feel grounded,
to feel at home. But I have always lived
in places plagued by natural disasters:
tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes.
And it has become abundantly clear
that the planet is trying to shake us
off her skin like a dog trying
to rid itself of fleas.
When the flood waters come to our doors,
the ocean moving with swift vengeance against the land
like a parent's hand against a child's cheek;
when the sky spins tantrums through our cities,
all water and sound leaving us breathless;
when the earth opens her mouth wide,
demanding tribute, I wonder why it is that
people who look like me
are so often, so easily sacrificed.