This Poem Is Not A Movement

To the self proclaimed proclaimed advocates
who smolder flame wars in burning cities
post about homelessness beside the hungry on their street:

Your profile claims you're the leader of our revolution
but you poured ice water on your head to avoid donating to ALS research
for an “activist” there is nothing active about you
championing from the comfort of your keyboard
you tweeted #blacklivesmatter
while people outside your window
chant it in the streets
chant it in the tear gas
chant it in the prison cells

you crave convenient equality
to be the cavern praised for its echo
but oppression’s eyes can’t be gouged by thumbs up
facebook likes elevate your ego not the fallen
today you shouted through a silent medium
we became the generation
who demands wildfire out of unlit cigarettes
you are a severed lighter who’s never tasted flame

we were not built to tweet from the shoulders of giants
we climb blood and bones for more than the view
Malala took a bullet to go to class
and we pretend sharing an article about her
is solidarity

Resurrected hope isn’t reverb
isn’t the applause of a digital choir
the three minutes it took to reblog about Orange is the New Black
won’t spark prison reform
posting hunger statistics won’t change them
Just as staring at beer won’t take you off those antibiotics,
splashing around in your own tub will never make waves
a hashtag is not a movement
a retweet is not a movement
this poem is not a movement
a movement involves moving
standing up for something
strong enough to pin you down
wrestling with controversy under mustard moonlight
until it quivers at the edge of your jaw
skin it into a saddle and ride into a ruptured horizon

you know, Ghandi didn’t instagram the sea
he marched to it

it’s important to be heard
but America’s systems
have bleeding out for centuries
someone has to stitch us back together
someone has to do more than scream doctor
someone should start a conversation
but we need more than just talk.


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