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My dog put her head on my lap as I cried

Cries. Sobs moved
up from my heart
to my throat
my mouth
my eyes covered with a hand
The story was too much
too beautiful too horrifying

A Polish Catholic priest
a Jewish father’s cries heard
Love stepping out of line
stepping into the chamber
So a father, by some miracle
might, just maybe, be restored
to his family
his daughter
his wife

Tears. Carrying more than
this story’s heart-breaking open
Carrying the trauma
the fear, shame, grief
As I stood on the roadside
Water is Life
banner in hand
Car on the road
officer taking down plates
Enbridge taking down forest
Anishinaabeg and Turtle Islanders
taking shelter sheltering Earth
Prayer in the lodge
surrounded by young men
white men, praying, resisting, healing

The prayer lodge was sawed to pieces
by state troopers
Synagogues burned
Mosques in Bloomington bombed

Human sacrifice
Sacrifice this humanity for what?
Trigger pulling fingers
Button pushing
Push it away
Push away these feelings
the human — within — so longing to be healed
the human so hurt within

I’ve prayed on the Mount of Olives
at sunset
casting shadow on Augusta Victoria
Palestinian humans trying to survive

Be still and weep
Pray to your Power Greater
Gitchi Manitou
Wakan Tanka
_ _ _ _

Blow. Burn. Rush.

Help me! Help us!

Fingers on triggers
pushing buttons
Executing the human
hand, the one part
the system values
Swipe the card
double tap to buy now
Drill. Saw. Destroy.

Lie down your human
on Fear’s altar

The right side of history
isn’t written
It’s lived

The dog responded to my cries
her brown sugar-faced
head on my lap


It is not us vs them
There is a holy war going on
in all of these bodies
in your body in my body

To win we must
bring up from the
bunker dug miles and miles
under skin
our arsenal
of tears

We must weep and weep and weep

Tears fall
Rain on trigger fingers
Memory wet on the hand
millimeters above the button

My child,

Wet earth
human body

The cost is too great

Look upon the one you would

The Palestinian child, forcibly removed
The Anishinaabe two-spirit, carrying the insults
that Enbridge pays her family to spew
Jewish grandfather, home but far from home,
wrestling with G*d to not become the oppressor
The man in the camp, who was taught,
in second grade, to not be a pussy

Will we continue

to stack bodies
on the Body Baron’s pyre

or will tears
carve valleys back
to heart

Return these cupped hands
to this body
Pour Water
on seed
Grow into an

May sacrifice become reciprocity
May home become community
May tears water a cherished and wonder-filled
and may you feel the love of this dog on your lap



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