Unused beneath empty pupitres of dark classrooms Unstrapped the mochilas to strap on mascarillas
I work to process the deep grief I hold for this Puerto Rico. The one that shakes every hour and waves, sways, pulses, taps, vibrates in between. I hold deep grief for the Puerto Rico of my mother’s dreams. The womb that held her when she was held in her own mother’s womb.
Hurriquake= 1. the strange suspension of an altered state of consciousness to ascend/ escape from the superficial plane of outdated politics of injustice/ colonization/ climate destruction.
2. Sandwiched suspended or trapped between rumbling skies of tropical storms and the earth rumbling beneath your feet.
But for all the ways we have been controlled, all the ways we die at their hands, they still claim ownership over our own deaths. They don’t believe the numbers when the bodies are brown and black. They don’t believe us when we have lost hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions. To do so would be to admit to the crime of genocide.
It is more profitable to keep people dependent on medications to suppress symptoms of illness than it is to heal them. Like battling illness, storm prep is big business. Home insurance industry is booming. The hiker/ back packer business went booming with Puerto Ricans stocking up on water filters, freeze-dried fruit, protein bars and solar supplies. Gasoline business is booming with all the generators we are running. Bottled water has become the hottest commodity. It is not in the best interest of the powers that be to address the climate change that has us living through these threats.
We the survivors of genocide, who swam through fallopian tubes not yet tied, but soon to be cut. We set out with babies in tow, in search of the violated womb because if we return to her, we can wage reciprocal healing. We wade, swim, swallow salt waters whose currents still mark the road maps of our ancestors taken, our ancestors fleeing.
Not knowing, not honoring our history is hella dangerous territory. It leaves us celebrating the heroes and tenets of our colonizers, while stomping on the graves of our own. It is not dollars we are needing, but dignity.
It is time to focus on the colonial classroom, the empire’s primary battleground. The threat goes beyond school closures. It includes the continued attack on the one public university system in Puerto Rico. It is embodied by a white North American secretary of education with an inflated salary, while her school children constituents are sacrificed at the austerity table of odious debt. It resounds in the arresting, pepper spraying and tear gassing of people protesting injustices like these. Ultimately the colonial battle is waged daily on the minds and on the psyches of the colonized, with schools cunningly crafted for the conformity and conditioning of the colonial subject.
My broken body colonized
Was the space of incubation
In which I myself
Had to craft and manifest their liberation
Through it I could envision doing the same for myself
The colony was formerly on life support with enough real estate, restaurants, casinos and electric lights to mask its reality. It was kept breathing by a machine so that when the lights went out, it would signal the end. The lights have been out for 7 months.
Most moments of my day I’m trying to figure out a plan to acquire my own piece of land, to make my lifestyle completely sustainable, to embody the liberation that I strive to practice daily until we can acquire it fully. But sometimes the spirit needs to stop and look at the photos. Honor the moments, the memories, the lessons.