Jan 06

Matar (to kill)

I am doing history homework 
when I watch the Capitol fall. 
                  (Ironic, isn't it? History always repeats itself.) 

We were trying to watch the 
electoral votes being counted and suddenly 
a push           no a wave 
of red, exclamations about gas masks 
and armed rioters and for a second 
I thought we had been transported 
right back to where we came from.
                  (God! my mother exclaims. It reminds me of Iran!
Please tell me what to do.
I am fifteen years old and I am watching 
democracy burning, burning. 
I am fifteen and I am watching a red man sprawled over
the vice-president's seat, confident. 
                  (It's funny, the smoke kind of smells like spit & passion, 
                   like hurt & tears, like treason & smashed glass.) 
There are pictures, guns drawn 
and I watch the news anchors repeating 
the same things over and over again 
stuck in a time loop where we all watch them
hang by the balcony,             yell obscenities at the camera.
Is this who we are? they ask.   (Yes, I think. This is who we are. These are your Americans, 
                                                aren't they? In all of their burning glory.) 
I watch the red men on screen and 
they seem subdued, hands shaking. They finally 
know what it feels like to be chased out of a home. 
The politicians on screen keep repeating the words 
democracy, democracy like a prayer that will save us all, 
democracy like an angel that will appear out of the light.
                                           (This is the goddamn United States of America! he says. 
                                             Oh how the mighty fall. Oh how the mighty have fallen.) 
I want to see us come together. 
I wish I could tell you that I know we are going to come together, 
but I am fifteen and I am watching 
an orange man spit on screen, manning the attack, 
cocking the guns. 
I hum to myself as I make mac & cheese in the kitchen for me 
and my sister.                   (Oh beautiful, for spacious skies
                                          for amber waves of grain
)
I go study my Spanish and I pray. 
This is not the end of America. We have come too far for that. 
We are damaged, and we are bruised, 
and we are dragging ourselves across our floors,
but we are not yet done. There is a Spanish verb, matar, which means to kill. 
How do you kill a democracy? 
I don't know, but today I discovered how you wound it. 

I am doing history homework 
and I watch the Capitol fall,
and I hope I won't hear gunshots today.