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In Brooklyn, if you wake up early enough, right when the sun meets the sky, you can see all of the tired people coming home from the graveyard shifts, worked to the bone.
You can see those headed to take their place.
You can see the people without homes, who once had a first day of first grade, beginning their wander for a spot to rest until night circles back and offers them a moment to live.
You can just catch the reflection of new light bouncing off the bars on people’s windows, the stained glass of the Haitian seventh-day church.
At this time of day, people walk without bags, the weight of their own selves enough to carry. I wonder where each one is going.
In Brooklyn, if you wake up early enough or stay up late enough, you will find me on my stoop
Watching the grates raise,
deli coffee being made, sold, loved
the world unfurling in its everyday mundane beauty.
Someone has to keep an eye on these things.
Brooklyn is a community of immigrants, queer kids, Black men, Brown women, outcasts, outsiders and those living on the margin. It is a mosaic of the most beautiful people the world has to offer. Over the past six months, I have watched it fight for its life against pandemics, new and old. I have watched marginalized people come together and fight for each other. I have watched cops watch with indifferent eyes. I have felt myself burn with rage at the sight of them.
I have felt myself burn.
There isn’t a single block in Brooklyn that does not have a mural or monument to some greater cause. We hang “Black Lives Matter” signs in our windows like curtains so everyone is aware, hate has no place here. I fear greatly for my Brooklyn and all the will yield from the results of today’s presidential election. It cannot take four more years, its people cannot take four more years, of revoked rights and constant fear.