Amir Rabiyah

Our Dangerous Sweetness



When I hear the news,

another one of us has been killed

my heart constricts

I reach with a frantic grief

towards a soothing balm, difficult to find


And I can’t help but think of

all the times my own life has been threatened

of all the people I love, and their own lives


I am tired of being afraid

to speak my name

to unbind my chest

to be feminine and masculine


to go outside


I am tired of being afraid

of being brown


I am tired of being afraid

of my own existence

of revealing my full self

for fear that if I do, I will be killed


Here: I am the living impossibility

like so many of the people I love

who have the audacity to embrace themselves


Each day,

I feel departed souls swirl surround me

I feel thousands of hands brushing away my tears

They say: do what you were born to do


To write these words down

To write myself into wholeness

To write myself away from vengeance


They say: listen and so I listen

For a long time, I listen


And then they say speak

to those that are still here

& so I speak,

to those of you still here


 I speak to say:

My Dear Beautiful People,

Each time you are broken, I break, I

 break,      I break a little more

then un-break,


I am piecing myself back together

with the care of a potter’s hands

I clay phoenix


I feel the heat

of our resurrections burning

to glaze our skin into glow

my fire and my kiln


are these words, this space

the intimate threads

of our connection


my prayer: we remember

ourselves as entwined in this struggle

my prayer: we undo the knots we have tied around ourselves


we breathe

we remember can be bound together

& free


I write because I feel the pulse of us

chanting the names of those who have died


Our own names

Our essences as holy


I envision us going on

to eclipse, building, bigger, bigger, bigger

more luminous


So bright


My beautiful people

our breaking is our making

& if I strip all my other identities away:


I am simply a poet who listens

To God,

To the dead,

To the living

To all left behind

To all the places in between


I am simply a poet

who writes these words because I believe in us

because I know a faith uncontainable by an alphabet


My beautiful people let us dream towards

what we want

beyond survival


Let us dream towards loving ourselves

till we become love over and over again


My beautiful people

I can taste our honeyed victory


My beautiful people

our dangerous sweetness

is our rebellion