Love in a time of violence

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.

We wonder– 

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,

Still, like a mountain,

My love is always.

— Jackie Modeste, 1 August 2017


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