I’ll Meet You There

This poem also appears in the issue “The Necessity of Including Embodiment and Lineage in Racial Justice Work” (Volume 6, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue

We should dance

as if dancing were a symbol of peace
as if gyrating arms and fluctuating feet
were the protest signs
of the anti-war movement

We should dance
to shake and wake ourselves
from complacent stupor
for indigenous water protectors
on the frontlines of our future

We should dance
as if dancing were
finding our way home
as if our ancestors’ stories
were stored
in the calcified minerals
that built our bones

We should dance

to make sanctuaries of our bodies
enough to welcome the stranger
forced to flee
dance at the gates of detention centers
demanding migrant children
be released

We should dance

moved by the momentum of
the hummingbird fluttering
her wild wings
inside our chests
as if inscribed inside
the folds of our flesh
were scriptures of ancient text
and only through dancing
could this hidden wisdom
be expressed

We should dance

in the streets
like a thousand bursting roses
rising from an Arab Spring
as if the answers were less important
than the burning songs we sing

We should dance

as if Mandela just got released
from metal bars
as if the earth below
were actually the night sky
of another world
and our scurrying feet
were its
shining stars

We should dance

the earth pulsing like a drum
palms outstretched to celebrate
each rising of the sun
contract, expand,
hold, release,
reach out to be spun
circle our sacred hips
in honor of the waters we come from

We should dance

as if the ground were a dream
and movement made us lucid
as if our thoughts had been unplugged
and our hearts had gone acoustic
as if our bodies were shaped
and made for making music

We should dance
We should dance
We should dance

Jahan Khalighi is a spoken word poet, artivist, and educator, born and raised in the Bay Area. He is an alumni of June Jordan’s Poetry for the Peo- ple and a former member of the Eugene Slam Poetry Team. As the commu- nity engagement manager for Chapter 510 and The Dept. of Make Believe, he curates and leads programs for Oakland youth to write with confidence and joy. Through California Poets in the Schools, he leads creative writing workshops at public schools and juvenile halls across the state. His origi- nal poetry has been featured at TEDxSonomaCounty and on Whoa Nelly Press.

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