How Was Vacation? or My Black-Mother-Fear and Anger
Corruption is a line long on the horizon
Forgive me: it’s hard to think and write it all in a way that’s pretty.
It’s not pretty.
It’s not pretty here.
The waves there beguile and invite you over, in, and under azure, turquoise, emerald shimmering liquid light. The sun is gentle and dependable. 5:40 am, up, 6:20 pm, down. The sea breeze plays all day.
My sons wandered the shore, giggling, laughing, exploring, pausing.
One son stared out into the horizon. He loves the vastness. He explained to me the difference between the jet-blue-black of the ocean and the midnight indigo of the sky after sunset. Look for the shimmer, a dividing line of water and sky.
The other son narrated the inner life of pelicans and warned little gulls of the greediest of their peers.
They both contemplated the scurrying lizards, the stock-still sunning iguanas.
I had to rehearse relaxing into their unabashed curiosity. The movement and vulnerability of it. The freedom of non-vigilance. The childlikeness of childhood they still wear.
I agonize over whether to remind them of the weight of invisible armor they must have to live here. The hair-trigger fury of white supremacy pelting them with casual hatred because we exist. The unrestrained violence of just anyone, anyone, who wants to end them or me because they can hunt us. They can harass us and demean us and maim us and kill us and receive praise and pardon.
I shake my head and wipe my tears and exhale with the relief of remembering: we are not here. We are there, in a country of brown people. White supremacy is here, too, but the permission of open-season violence against brown bodies doesn’t live here; can’t. The most it can do is try to skip us in line or play a game of chicken by walking in our paths and presuming we will step out of the way. I body-checked 3 women and 2 men who forgot that I don’t step aside for them.
Two objects cannot occupy the same space and I am already here.
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