Amira looks left, and the boat begins to sink,
Mamma's got one hand on her and one arm holding
Six month Anas,
Dadda's feet touch the sand beneath the ocean,
"We got you we got you,"
Says a voice in a language they don't understand,
A language that has conversed
Time and time again that they don't belong,
That they should stay in their goddamn country,
Cause refugees don't matter man.
But another man sees that Amira's got the same
Eyes as his 2 year old,
Back up in town off of Lesbos,
Safe in her bed,
She matters cause she hasn't been displaced,
5000 miles away there's an election taking place,
One scandalous politician promises the left she's gonna let Amira in,
One sceething businessman promises Amira a badge that says
Her worth isn't shit.
And Anas grows up and gets Sophie pregnant,
She can't tell her family she's having the refugee's baby,
Her daddy'll freak and her mamma will tell her that it's only
And she'll run to the clinic and the asshole will open the door,
He'll tell her if she kills that baby then she's gotta go to jail,
But if she doesn't kill that baby then its gotta wear Amira's
That she gave away when a man grabbed her by her privates,
Cause she's only half-human,
Wishing she was 5,000 miles away again,
Getting killed by people who kill actual humans.
She dies for being a person there,
She dies for being the minority here.
Amira looks right,
There's mamma, and dadda,
Drowning in the Aegean,
But the Greek pulls her in and says,
"You're safe now," and gets Anas too,
And Amira closes her eyes,
And hears the sounds of the waves
Crashing behind her,
In water that doesn't discriminate,
With waves that kill,
These past few months I've felt like someone pressed "Repeat" on the soundtrack of my life. Every day is the same song and dance. I wake up late, by societal standards anyway, I suffer through a stage of initial self-doubt and I get my ass to the gym. About an hour later, a migraine begins. The left or right side of my face thumps and I press on it, wishing it away, even though I know it has another few hours. This is what I have become-- post-grad. There are two voices in my head throughout the rest of my short day: one tells me I'm young and I'll figure all of this out, another tells me everyone has it figured out.
On Mondays I want to become a neurologist. On Tuesdays, becoming a lawyer and fighting for human rights sounds about right. By Wednesday, I'm hitting the "Apply Now" button on countless job postings. By Thursday I'm Googling how fast I can retire and how to write a bestselling novel, and by Friday I realize I deserve a drink or five aside from the ones I already consumed previously throughout the week. On Sundays, I take a deep breath, crawl into my perfect bed, and fall into the beginning of another week's deep sleep.
This Tuesday, I went with a friend to a local bar and listened to an open mic. A woman, about late 20s or early 30s stepped up to the mic and blew me away. Her voice sounded like Gina Rene's, hitting every note like she had experienced them each for a full year. I tuned out the people behind me, talking rudely during this performance of remembering what I love. Live music, sung from the souls of people who believe in something that can take them away, that can help them escape. And for a moment there I was transported into the rhythm of her words, swayed by the passion in her soul. Something in me became numb, I had inhaled a drug and became transfixed by its effects. I was mesmerized. This is what I used to love, I used to love going to concerts of local bands, or just learning that someone could really sing-- sing like Nina Simone--who believed so deeply in every word she sang, who told a story with her voice, who carried you, note by note, into the person you were meant to be.
And I just had to write about it, because that's what I love. I had to write about how someone made me remember those things I love. As I was leaving the bar, I walked up to the woman and told her what a beautiful voice she had. That was all the courage I had in me, but I really wanted to tell her that her voice had made me remember, it made me remember to write and to switch up my routine a little bit. To add a little zest to the top of my boring seven day meal. Live music, music, the passions of others professed from a stage into a microphone, carried in mesmerizing words makes me feel. And I love to feel. We need moments of spontaneity. Routine makes us forget. We have to remember what makes us feel alive. What makes us feel, what makes us love.
I remember I heard it in second grade
For the first time.
Soon to be gone.
She never got hers back,
It ran with him, disappeared along
Along the trials and tribulations of life.
He never had one,
He was raised to have it shot as a boy.
His father taught him to hate those with different
Her mother taught her to hate those
That had different DNA,
Even though she was hurt by just one.
It's all endangered, really, not just
The giant otter and the blue whales,
Wild water buffalos and green sea turtles,
Japanese cranes and eastern lowland gorillas,
And have some goddamn sympathy,
Stop shooting 'em,
Running wild with 'em.
Have some goddamn sympathy for
The endangered species,
Of the Human Heart.
I like to write; point blank. This is a little piece of me that I get to share with the rest of the world, and hey, you know, maybe you'll appreciate it, maybe it'll do nothing for you. But my writing exists, and that's enough for me.
© 2019 Silvia Iorio. All rights reserved.