on the little death of C. R. Barrett

(or, how community moves after rupture)

Community is more of a verb than a noun. At least, that’s something I’ve been telling myself, frequently, since a week ago. I need this sentiment like I need joy, to get through the next second/hour/day, to fill the time between things to look forward to.

My former coworker took a fat shit on our sacred thing, smeared it all over the sacred thing and himself, and then scuttled off to Fresno to model the latest in ankle-monitoring fashion while leaving all of the shit behind for us to deal with. The thing about a shit-covered thing is that touching it makes you want to a) throw out the thing and b) vomit profusely. But, because it’s sacred, I love it and honor it and also kind of resent this thing. I want to clean it and fix it and make it better, but I also kind of just want to throw it away and wash my hands, and find another, less complicated sacred thing.

How can broken things still move? Asking for my friend with a broken heart.

Community is more of a verb than a noun. These words keep my feet moving when they’re heavy on the concrete. Let the bodies keep the score, and mine will do so entirely in my joints. They’ll sing volumes by the end of this.

How do I fix this? I don’t think I can, alone. I don’t want to, alone.

I have to go soon and it feels like betrayal, my relief at leaving feels more of one, I don’t know if loving harder now will make leaving worse or better, I want to first believe I can pull this off, but I won’t know until I try.

It’s so doable, not to try.

Except, it’s not.

And they’ll pull you back together.

Community moves after rupture, kind of like blood. Vital and pulsing and outpouring all its grief. Without attention circumstances will become dire, but a moment of direction saves volumes. Moving together is something we’ve always done, known how to do. Voting works because we all do it together. Applause works because we all do it together.

If this works, it’ll be because we all did it together, too.

A starling murmuration against an orange and purple sunset. The black silhouettes of trees and mountains in the horizon can be seen along the bottom.

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