Rubber Bullet Talisman

Send me your rubber bullets and I will build an altar for us.

It will contain the power that struck the hammer,
sending them, cutting through the air.

It will be packed with the force of cold, negligent denial
of all wrongs done from slavery until now.

It will be charged with the emotions of our people
on the streets, shouting until they can’t speak,
marching until their bodies hurt,
retreating through tear gas and chanting in unison,

of those tased in the car
while police slash their tires,
merely for being there.

It will hold the memories of those who held out their hands,
those who risked their lives,
those who crossed the lines,
those who took a knee for peace.

It will be purified by the mere act of picking it off the street,
turning it in one’s fingers,
and taking it home
to channel such
into societal transformation.

Take your rubber bullets
place them in a small dish.
Surround all that passion
and song
and force
and rage
and grief
and sweet bonding,
with petals
and nurturing sounds.
Then, light a candle
to hold witness to us all
as you shine in your heart to envelop us
with your sweetness.

Take your rubber bullet,
pierce it with a hot needle.
Pull a strong thread through the hole
and make yourself a garland.
Make yourself a thing of beauty,
wrought from the forges of rebellion.
Take it with you always,
to fuel your revolution,
which is our revolution,
to crystallize your truth,
which is our truth,
to remind you,
never,
never to stop.

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