As the sun rises, we adjust to the idea that
our election is now a season and not a day.
It does not end at an hour or on a day, but
exactly as it should: when every voice is heard.
This year, the fabric of our social contract
has been frayed by loss, confusion, and neglect.
234,000 souls jostle with prayer and failing
to position themselves as moral beacons.
Some linger in silence, some dance in leaf-litter,
all of their language crunched into delicate memory.
We are haunted, exactly as Douglass wisely warned,
by a culture of tolerance for prophetic torturers.
Tens of millions have righteously stood up to say:
This must end; we cannot accept cruelty anymore.
And yet… embers have become fire systems that now
ravage the moral undergrowth of our character.
A bell tolls and shivers with the pulse in our bodies,
reminding us that negligence is a kind of attack.
We are commanded by our humanity to invent
new cartographies for freedom from colonization.
A blaze of yellow light spills mercifully into
deep red night and nudges Venus into a blue tomorrow.
We live in that in-between space, when reason
cannot allow itself to say what will come next.
Fire weather pulls peace apart, as old illusions
flash in the rattle of leaves already fallen.
A defiant goodness is rising to counter the conviction
that decency withers before violence; it does not.
An optimist must seek and define and live this mission:
the best possible future is always in the making.
I think of the countless rivers singing, some with names
known by all and others living only for a moment.
Time is not what we think it is; it does not move
like a river, but stretches and blitzes and stalls.
Time does not trace an alphabet of moments or a
hierarchy of sublime truths; it hungers and evolves.
We are living hungry in this yellow blaze of morning,
fearing demons and scarcity, signaling to angels.
To steer a republic to safety or disaster by the
stark and fickle rudder of a ballot weighs heavily.
We are lucky to be so many to carry that weight
together through the fog and tumult.
History is not what is written; it is what lives
in the spaces between us that go unattended.