flood tide

1. The other morning my boyfriend asked me if it had rained the night before and I said I didn't know, I had been asleep to deeply; and then I remembered that I had dreamed my apartment flooded, the sheetrock peeling from the walls in wet blistering strips, the ceiling crumbling into a waterfall; in the dream I had called the super and he had stood in the wreckage with me and said Perhaps it is time for you to move on and I had said Thank you, yes, I think you're right. My dream apartment had no furniture or books and was larger than the real apartment I live in now, a vast empty room alive with running water. I guess there must have been a storm, I said, the morning after.
2. I run and I run and I run. My body is changing, the muscles under my skin like live wires. I am tired in a way I have never been tired before. I want to believe it is an exhaustion only of the body. At night I lie awake looking at my twitter feed, at image after image, the tear gas, the guns, the tanks moving in; I think, How long, how long can we watch and do nothing. The images from Gaza, the images from Ferguson. The same tear gas canisters lined up side by side. Are we supposed to go to work, in the mornings? How? How do we go to work in the mornings? How do we pretend we are not carrying a grief the size of a lifetime? A grief as big as our own gore-soaked and ruinous history of engineered despair? I ran fifteen miles without stopping and came home and I cannot tell which tanks they are anymore, which tanks in which country, the clouds of gas rising in the night, haloed blood-bright with floodlights, erasing the bodies, the clouds that could be anywhere, the bodies that could be anyone's but my own, weeping helplessly in its white skin, a saltwater sack, a body out of danger and unmarked, unremarkable. We are unsurprised by the events; that does not take away their power to undo us.
3. Hedy Epstein, 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, outspoken supporter of the Free Palestine Movement, arrested during the protests on Monday; the activists arrested with her sang her "Happy Birthday" on the way to jail.
4. Over the weekend, the Perseid meteors falling; I would have counted them if I could have seen them, through the storm that will not lessen, but they fell and I did not mark their passing, and the earth turns again, away, spinning through the vast and lonely dark.
5. I go to work in my new job in an office, in clothes I bought for the office, a disguise, a trick at being a different person, a person who is quiet and does not complain, and does not bring a heart swollen over with anguish every morning, who does not carry this sodden weight up and down the stairs every day, who has already gotten in trouble for not caring enough, for being efficient but insufficiently emotional, who cannot say How can anyone care about anything, now, except this, how can anyone care about anything but the nights that fall again and again, the gas clouds, the tanks, the bodies of the people who stand in front of this onslaught and say We are done with this and we are strong, we are strong as the roots of the mountains are strong, as the body is strong, as hope is strong, we are a strength that cannot be fathomed or unmade, we are strong in the face of betrayal after betrayal after betrayal; we are strong enough to, after everything, choose to build a world out of love. We are strong enough to choose hope. We are strong enough to clean up the streets every morning after, strong enough to search through the rubble for the little that is left that was once ours. I am not that strong; I live in the shadow of that strength, and the least I can do is find ways to make myself worthy of catching at its edges.
6. But no one, no one should have to be that strong. No one should have to find strength among the bodies of their children. No one.
7. It is almost time to go running again. I find, more and more, that I have nothing left to say.