POETRY: Power

by Kayla Blau


There is nothing powerful about trespassing for 400-odd years

But here we are,

Writing words on mistreated trees and calling them true

Tagging broad stripes and bright stars on purloined fabric

Directing lives, fancying ourselves unsung heroes,

Victorious sinners,

Bruised egos and bellies full of shame.

There is nothing brave here.

Include in us our pasts –

Which of course, include your pasts too,

All of them lined up like precarious dominoes

Leading you right here,

Leading me right here,

Leading us to believe whatever truths we can stomach

To absolve ourselves of the truest truth –

“Es completamente injusto,”

The mother told me.

Her past is on the land just south of where we squat,

Her present held hostage by ICE and other dangerous acronyms

Her future jailed to all of our pasts  

The two sides: fear and comfort – is there a backdoor?

The misuses of lines and blood in veins

The mapping of our bruising and boasting

There is no freedom in power,

Despite what they sell you

Listen: power is in commune.

It’s in the fire escape.

We can climb it together.


Kayla Blau is a Seattle-based poet and writer.

Featured image: The Power of Black, by Alberto Fabregas.