Say Our Name

Remember when this started?
There were others, more faces,
less faces, rounded in youth
and possibilities.
We were giddy-green and trembling
with starlight, free and easy,
and the rooms seemed huge.
Just children, sharing chocolate
in front of mirrors
that refracted the shine
of our eagerness back to us.

Then came the determination.
No longer sugar-coated, a novelty,
now becoming something more.
Fear; the underlying, ever-present
soul-shaking uncertainty that every
difficult day could be our last.
We got better,
we started to make something.
friends left, phantom pains
in muscles that now
remembered the steps so readily.

We ached together, cried.
When our feet fell wrong or
the tide of frustration
throbbed over our burning foreheads.
Someone screamed each night, or
broke quietly inside, and
giving up, shattering, felt so straightforward.
But we shouldered the burden of failure
across each of our broad backs,
solemn, a wolf-pack,
and trudged onwards through the trees.

Our voices rose.
A crescendo, something sweet and scorching,
we pushed through the critics
with gilded tongues, confident
at last that we could conquer,
we knew how. We would bring the
country to it’s feet;
force it to dance to the sound
of our forerunner rhythm,
visionary and dangerous.

We, with muscles blazing,
light spilling out from the center
of our flourishing, stood
united, confirmed by silver and ink,
tall before the faceless masses.
As we printed our bodies onto the stage
a collective thought
crashed in each of our consciences,
expanding, a stone thrown in water.

This year is our year.

– Say Our Name, Eve A. (Written in tribute to the band ‘Seventeen’)

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