America: Year Zero
The taste of ashes

in my mouth today

is bitter.

Yesterday, I awoke

full of hope,

listening for the sound

of breaking glass

as the final ceiling shattered.

Instead, we all heard

the first echo

of marching boots,

of the kicking in

of doors,

of the rattling rumble

of tanks

last seen in Tienanmen Square.

The ashes I taste

are from waving amber grain

burning in a firestorm

of hate and lies of bigotry


The lady in the harbor

has doused her torch.


I was a woman full of hope.

Today I am an unperson

in Putin's America.

Today I am small

and frightened

and tired.

Today I am ashes

and sackcloth

and mourning robes.

Tomorrow, though,

I will look ahead

to a future

I will help build.

I will ignite.

the fires of hope

and anger

and love.

I will spit out

these ashes.

I will change

my cerements

for feathers.


the struggle begins.


I will create

and build

and strive.


I will