An Installment

We are numbers on a page
Not everyone has the privilege of being counted
We are counted in installments
When politically convenient and palpable

We are not counted when our numbers challenge the party in power
We are actively silenced
Partitioned into Jerrys, our souls divided for their managing
We are allowed to vote only when it is profitable

Yet the freedom to vote should be the first and last pillar in equality
The curtain of democracy holding chaos at bay

I am tired of building a beloved community in installments
Of scavenging for rights while they are violated elsewhere
Of justice only being heard through data, and numbers instead of stories, testimonies, and lives
The allegories of our lives the next plot twist in marvels eyes, dollar signs

But in these vines, they say they hold the seed of life
An intricate mandala being built with the sands of time, a promise of a beautiful design

John Lewis called voting a nonviolent tool for democracy, but the ballot box is agony
A test of our metal, any sign of aggression and we are imprisoned, deported, or shot
Even in our absence we are erased.

Yet there is a fierce urgency of now
A horizon beyond the final eclipse the Aztecs foresaw

Glimmers of community withstanding the snow, footprints in the cold
800,000, immigrants in New York city allowed to vote

A turning of the tide or another installment to wet our appetite

Por tierra o por agua
Con nuestra identidad en bolsa
Nosotros brincamos muros y construimos un castillo
Por un destino
un cambio que no sera vencido

What is the quality of change?
Do we measure change in quantities?
Breathing in an installment to prevent a withdrawal

Or are we in the brink of herd immunity

A glowing constellation of stars awakening across the shinning sea
No longer being okay with being fed these portions
Demanding a new foundation, justice for all, now

If you are on this ground, you deserve a say, no status should dim your voice, always a choice
An infinite hope lighting the staircase of our home

Justice for all, once and for all.


This poem was written for Martin Luther King Day on 1/17/2022

It was influenced by many things; the ongoing political battle for the Freedom to Vote Act & the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in Congress, the movie Soul’s Jerry character, Marvels increasing use of BIPOC issues to increase revenues, Dune’s box of agony, John Lewis, NYC new immigration law, the Immigrants song from the Hamilton mixtape sang by El Residente, and the Encanto movie

But most of all this quote from Martin Luther king influenced the overall mood and title of the poem

“Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn. The reality of substantial investment to assist Negroes into the twentieth century, adjusting to Negro neighbors and genuine school integration, is still a nightmare for all too many white Americans…These are the deepest causes for contemporary abrasions between the races. Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear, but for the Negro there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook. He remembers that with each modest advance, the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.”

—Martin Luther King’s Where Do We Go From Here: 1967 book

Published by MarielaRebelde

I am a person in between things wanting to document my words in this space.

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