Giving Notice

She asks, did you feel that, or

was it Hugo under the bed?

Hugo indeed had flattened himself

against the floor

under the bed,

like he does in elevators.

I said,

I didn’t feel anything.

Most significant tremblor in decades

it turns out.

Tonight there will be fireworks for atrocity

children in cages

or shot by police

unending war

bigots on the march

the sedimenting of all possible


As the great Frederick Douglass said

to the oppressed this holiday is a hideous sham.

But its celebration, like all ceremonies,

anchors the citizens to the ground,

steadies numbed commitment,

an absence of noticing.

Later, I am seasick,

the magnets that tie me to the earth out of sorts.

I feel here and there the risings up,

the refusals of attachment

of belonging and consent.

I had felt the subterranean rumble,

notice of destructive transformation,

after all.

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