you stand on Ohlone bones

every where i go
i see names that
echo those who
came before, those
who were displaced,
those whom street
signs and plaques
seek to honor
while our appetite
for fuel pollutes
the land we revere
them for revering

we mythologize
and romanticize the
love of land, of nature,
while also killing it

modern American myth
fills Yosemite Valley:
stories of climbers
scaling tall granite
walls using
only the tips of
their fingers to advance
high above peaks and
towers and rivers and
lakes named after
people who were
pushed out,
a circus
where once
there were homes

and a mile from my home
monuments to money
rise up from
native ancestral
burial grounds,
altars to shiny gadgets,
spectacular displays of distraction,
shrines for fleeting fashion,
a smorgasbord for
consumption of all kinds

i try to make peace
between the history
that made me,
the future i hope
to make, the present
that i want to live,
and the principles
that can be so
complicated to follow

knowing that
it is difficult
to make sense of
all the contradictions
of modern living
but it is preferable
to pretending
they don’t exist,
to denying
our inheritance,
to refusing
to move toward light.


title from broken windows.