We are living in violent times. Our current political theatre has me in knots. I’ve read enough about emerging markets, governance, and foreign relations to know – democracies fail. Is our experiment in democracy failing us now? Did our particular type of democracy, capitalist democracy, hasten our demise and so now threaten to upend the Republic?
Political violence is ripping our nation apart. I am traumatized, daily, by 45 and his administration. Policies, orders, administrative and judicial appointments are setting our nation back more than 50 years. State violence – police brutality, in particular – has me deeply troubled. Too many view State violence as a partisan issue. Black Lives Matter, they say, ignores the risk police officers take every day, ignores the good cops who honor their oath to ‘serve and protect.’ People seek exceptions that allow them to deny what their eyes tell them is real. This psychological and emotional disconnect perpetuates violence and sacrifices human kindness. Blaming dead people for their deaths is inhumane and breeds outrage. And so I wonder… how does political, emotional, physical and psychological violence shape our daily interactions? How does violence shape the way we love?
The violence seems most acute in communities under siege. So, this poem, “Love in a time of violence” is an effort to re-commit to love.
Love in a time of violence
There is a beautiful fierceness
inherent in Black Love.
It means — I desire you, insatiably,
and will protect you, heroically,
and in the space between desire and protection,
I will love you
romantically, tenderly, and erotically—
History has made Black Love
it is always open season
on Black bodies.
Black women are angry
at Black men and
Black men are suspicious
of Black women.
History is a heavy load to bear.
can love overcome
anger and violence and mistrust and
centuries of hurt?
There is historic rage in my love for you.
Yet, that rage breeds a passion
whose fire burns eternally,
and a loyalty encoded in my DNA.
I know you,
You are mine, for all time.
It matters not what becomes of
“You & I.”
To love you is to have always loved you.
Deep like the ocean,
long like the Nile —
Big, like the sky,
Steady, like a mountain,
My love is always.
— Jackie Modeste, 1 August 2017