And the Sun Sets On a World On Fire

on activism and the world finally seeing the dead
05/02/2020. total words: 551

And the sun sets, on a world on fire. The sun sets on a dam beginning to break under the pressure.

This world is changing and so am I, and I am awake gasping from the wet of the rapids as I come out of the water, as the world begins to wake. Again. The cycle turns. We turn. Towards, away, whatever keeps us from breaking. The world is breaking. I refuse to break with it.
Take my hand, swim with me, you’ve been drowning so much longer, my eyes are finally open under the waves and the dam is breaking out from under us, can you tell we’re about to fall?
What happens when we hit the ground? I don’t know. I didn’t feel okay coming out of the water to breathe until I could open my eyes within the saltwater rapids but we’re still here, aren’t we? Drowning, red and scalded from the rush of the heat in the magma below in the volcano about to erupt, I swear. We did not start this fire. This is a volcano under the water and you built a dam overtop to keep us chained. The water is boiling and salted and the dam is breaking. Are we breaking?

Of course we are. We keep screaming and the ones above the water, filling this bay with our scalding tears, just tune us out like the roar of the waves. This water is red from the blood, gods only know how many corpses it would take until the dam would overflow and begin to crack. We’re going to fall.

We’re going to hit the ground and what of the corpses? What was hidden by the magma, protecting us from the heat with their only sacrifice, while we were all still drowning? You can only open your eyes so wide until the salt forces you to shut them or join the corpses at the bottom, one more bloodied death to the magma, the dam planted over the volcano so it’s one death or the other, the heat or the saltwater.

How many of us drowned chained to the drains meant to dispose of us? How many of us fell into these bloodied waters by circumstance, how many of us were birthed in them? This world is breaking and I am breaking too, and I won’t drown I can’t I won’t accept what you’re doing to us. Better to be a corpse burned in a way water won’t quench than drowned because I couldn’t make it. This world turns, away, towards, are we changing for the better this time?

I force my eyes open to the salt, to the heat, and I try not to scream too loud. We all are screaming from the pain. We should be screaming louder. Because we will go silent only on the roar of the waves as the dam begins to break, and we break free of the water at last. And listen then, if you won’t listen now, because that is the silent horror of the world seeing our drowned and burned. Let the world hush in horror. Let the world wake up.

There are enough corpses. Let the world see them all. And by this world, may I not be one of them when this dam breaks.