*Ed.’s Note: “is it god inside you?” originally appeared, in audio form, on the album compilation Is There Another Language? by Gezellig Records.
On election night, it is late
when the gathering, that is no longer a party,
ends. The walk home becomes mostly silent.
November night has no concern for union’s fractured state
it waits for morning, washes light away
Fails to consider that darkness cannot be safe
You are not safe
television warns. The ocean is violent, even if its fury arrives late
Hold sense of fear, do not lull it away
Hurricane replies: ignore the wind, pretend we are at a party
don’t listen to its voice, it is easy to feel numb during state
of emergency, and after storm there is always silence
Post-disaster, survivors languish in silence
forget that they ever felt safe
help often arrives months late
appalled at the state
of affairs, questions why they (survivors, mothers) did not go away
they (survivors, mothers) say : this is home & existence has always been greater than president, politics, or party
on the night of the storm: I go to a party
(not yet angry or silent)
when I arrive, the host takes my thing away
I leave with a man, who does not feel un-safe
but familiar. where are my clothes: is the only thing I ask in my dream-state
later, I tell my mother that reality and nightmare are indistinguishable as of late
I am late
this time, it’s not for a party
“I will call it the thing that my body begot.” The State
does not listen, tells me to keep silent
the thing drifting inside is safe
I beg to for them to please send it away
terror cannot comprehend (away)
it sits heavy, stays late.
afterwards, it is not easy to reclaim the sensation of safe,
whether at party
grocery store or home—but it is nice to know that this state
of unrest and anger is, inalienable security rebukes silence
storm comes during party, that’s when we realize it is much too late.
to predict this current state of emergency would have been a miracle. the sound of stunned silence
takes my breath away. it is difficult to fathom that one day again we will feel safe
Charlie Waddle lives in Nashville, where she has had very little success. She is a weaver, video artist, and zine maker. You can find her jokes on Twitter @hawtknife and her other work at eilrahccharlie.com.