We aren’t necessarily safe at all.
And I don’t say that only from growing up with earthquakes.
The horror of difference can crush us from the outside
Like the power of Pompeii crushed those who celebrated
And those who mourned
Agony and stagnation, built over centuries
Can enter and carve new paths
With the force of water
And with the scald of fire.
What appears sudden to the souls inside walls
Is an explosion inwards
A chance for a jailbreak
A heaviness that grew upon itself,
Armor upon armor
Scab upon scab
Disease upon disease
Growing right where the tender first wisps of lightness
Were ignored, mocked, and pulled up by roots,
At their first, second, and third outings.
We are not the ones anymore
Who have stood gazing at our walls
Neither are we the ones
Who have screamed outside the walls
We are the ones who have made walls of ourselves
Rock, dust, metal, stone
Coagulated our infinite possibility
Into monstrous edifices
Which, if they stand,
Only testify plainly to future archaeologists
Of our fear and self-defeat.
Let us not surrender those things inside us,
Those things that live and thrive from the slow flow inwards
Like oxygen feeds every cell.
These things move, they change, they greet the fear as a friend to be comforted.
Waiting for us to open the gates
They are our energy, our soul, our blood.