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notes on archiving erasure photo

love does not begin and end the way we think it does. love is a battle; love is a war; love is a growing up
      -James Baldwin

when i say
I love my family
what i mean
is i worship
the battle; you
can’t wish away
creation or re-order
blood. childishly
I thought we could
re-tell story(ies)
I mean to say,
I can’t lie. in truth
there are wretched
days i call my sister
and ask was this
real? did this happen?

she says nothing
part of love can be
called refusing to
answer. my mother
says let things lie
she means murder it
let our shame be
a suffocating vine:
we were made to
believe that everything
we bore was ugly: a family
of shell shocked
gods fleeing
their own clay – yet,
I will come back to
the door of our own home
sit at its steps, and fall in
love with the slow order
of our creation, the seasons
it took to urge kindness into
our natures. how we won
glory even as the city fell.


image: Alysa Bajenaru