Against Sleepwalking

Against Sleepwalking

It is easy to forget I as a Jew
forget sometimes often that our whiteness is

honorary that we are tolerated from the Latin word for
bearing, carrying and enduring pain we are the stain

of money-changers endured to underwrite white
for which race is a[n imaginary] stink in the blood

I believe you know that racism and inhumanity
squirm in the same suburb of the lizard brain

nasty with fear and bruised egos pumped up
with swamp gas and adrenaline

that race is not only about color but erasure
that when Maus is banned, Malcolm is not

far behind though he, too, blamed the Jews
but changed, didn’t he? finally found a root of light

where all races, mythical though race is
political though its purpose be, flowered

in a furor of love

I know you know but why don’t we have words
in common a common foundation so we can bear

carry endure together together being the
necessary redo.

Share on Social Media:

Tikkun needs your support to bring the kind of analyses and information we provide.
Click Here to make a tax-deductible contribution.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Ivy Schweitzer has lived for many years in Vermont, and taught American literature and Women’s and Gender Studies at Dartmouth College. Most recently, her poem “Howard Johnson’s, off Rt. 95, Jacksonville, FL,” was awarded Honorable Mention in the Passager Poetry Contest for 2022, and “Prayer for the Broken” will appear in Ritualwell. 

Photo credit: Joseph Mehling


Comments are closed.