It’s a national holiday here in the United States of America

I was reading my friends page on Facebook today and someone amazing called today “interdependence day.” I really liked not only the mash-up of independence, but also the cavalier notion that we are in fact as independent as we are interdependent on each other. As activists say, we are not free until all we are free. It’s true. So while platitudes of gratefulness are repeated across social networking sites and bbq grill feasting tables, I am reminded of the differences in how we experience freedom and how it shows in the differences in the people around me.

I thought about that, about how my liberations are separate and yet equal, how I am not free until all of me is free. So I share with you a poem I wrote a few years ago, inspired in part by Audre Lorde – a warrior poet who too wanted all of her to be free.

But I who am bound by my mirror
as well as my bed 
see causes in color 
as well as sex
and sit here wondering
which me will survive 
all these liberations. 
- Audre Lorde, from "Who Said It Was Simple"

A flame burning on pyre or alter
somewhat shifty - an unwelcome breeze
lit by another hand, another body
reclaimed in a few brief moments
now a testament to what it means
to survive
or the very art of survival
punching in and then out
the echo elevating itself above
obliteration or reincarnation
another matchbook, a wick not trimmed
another isolated liberation
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