Last night I dreamed
ten thousand grandmothers
from the twelve hundred corners of the earth
walked out into the gap
one breath deep
between the bullet and the flesh
between the bomb and the family.
They told me we cannot wait for governments.
There are no peacekeepers boarding planes.
There are no leaders who dare to say
every life is precious, so it will have to be us.
They said we will cup our hands around each heart.
We will sing the earth’s song, the song of water,
a song so beautiful that vengeance will turn to weeping,
the mourners will embrace, and grief replace
every impulse toward harm.
Ten thousand is not enough, they said,
so, we have sent this dream, like a flock of doves
into the sleep of the world. Wake up. Put on your shoes.
You who are reading this, I am bringing bandages
and a bag of scented guavas from my trees. I think
I remember the tune. Meet me at the corner.
Aurora Levins Morales is a cuir Ashkenazi Boricua writer of poetry, essays, and fiction. A child of blacklisted communist parents, she grew up immersed in social justice movements and the poetry of liberation, and came into public voice as part of the collective eruptions of radical art of the 1970s and ’80s. She is the author of nine books, including Medicine Stories, Kindling, Remedios, and Silt. Her poetry is widely used in synagogues and churches, in schools and at rallies, painted on walls and recited at weddings, translated into seven languages and reprinted in dozens of anthologies. She lives at Finca la Lluvia, an agro-poetry project in the western mountains of Boriken, also known as Puerto Rico. The Story of What is Broken is Whole: An Aurora Levins Morales Reader will be published in 2024 by Duke University Press.