He is taking a course on Marxist ideology.
He says, “The only real solution is to smash the system and start again.”
His thumb is caressing the most bourgeois copy of the communist manifesto that I have ever seen,
He bought it at Barnes and Noble for twenty-nine U.S. American dollars and ninety-nine cents,
Its hard cover shows a dark man with a scarved face
Waving a gigantic red flag against a fictional smoky background.
The matte finish is fucking gorgeous.
He wants to be congratulated for paying Harvard sixty thousand dollars
To teach him that the system is unfair.
He pulls his iPhone from his imported Marino wool jacket, and leaves.
What people can’t possibly tell from the footage on TV
Is that the water cannon feels like getting whipped with a burning switch.
Where I come from, they fill it with sewer water and hope that they get you in the face with your mouth open
So that the hepatitis will keep you in bed for the next protest.
What you can’t tell from Harvard square,
Is that when the tear gas bursts from nowhere to everywhere all at once,
It scrapes your insides like barbed wire, sawing at your lungs.
Tear gas is such a benign term for it,
If you have never breathed it in you would think it was a nostalgic experience.
What you can’t learn at Barnes and Noble,
Is that when they rush you, survival is to run,
I am never as fast as when the police are chasing me.
I know what happens to women in the holding cells down there and yet…
We still do it.
I inherited my communist manifesto,
It has no cover—
Because my mother ripped it off when she hid it in the dust jacket of “Don Quixote”
The day before the soldiers destroyed her apartment,
Looking for subversive propaganda.
She burned the cover, could not bring herself to burn the pages,
Hoped to God the soldiers couldn’t read,
They never found it.
So she was not killed for it, but her body bore the scars of the torture chamber,
For wanting her children to have a better life than she did,
Don’t talk to me about revolution.
I know what the price of smashing the system really is, my people already tried that.
The price of uprise is paid in blood,
And not Harvard blood.
The blood that ran through the streets of Santiago,
The blood thrown alive from Argentine helicopters into the Atlantic.
It is easy to say “revolution” from the comfort of a New England library.
It is easy to offer flesh to the cause,
When it is not yours to give.
1. Wash your sheets every two weeks, I promise you’ll sleep better.
2. If a boy breaks your heart, it’s okay to cry.
3. If a girl breaks your heart, it’s okay to cry.
4. School is important, but there are many things you can’t learn in a classroom. Pursue them.
5. Find your passion, and run with it.
6. No, you don’t need to lose weight.
7. You are beautiful without make up.
8. You are beautiful with make up.
9. Being a good person will never go out of style
10. Buy yourself flowers if you’re feeling sad.
11. Getting enough sleep is very important.
12. Drinking water has so many benefits
13. Believe in fairytales, believe in love, and allow no one to steal your magic.
14. Reading is good for the soul.
15. I am not here to judge you, but I will always support what I think is best for you.
16. I appreciate you.
17. I am proud of you.
18. Even on your worst days, you will never disappoint me.
19. I love you no matter what.