One Love

Too many rallies to count.

More marches and protests in the last month than in all of my life.

Before all this.

I never knew my feet could hold their ground so long.

Never knew my voice could carry so far.

Never knew I could feel pain so deeply.

Without being cut, or shot, or hated.

I held above my head my faithful friend, my partner in resistance, the phone that helps me tell these stories of my city’s courage and pride, the unrelenting faith of New Yorkers in each other’s dignity and worth.

To share with friends who were there in spirit this gathering of my Muslim brothers and sisters, surrounded by their Jewish, Christian, Black, Latino, immigrant, refugee, American-born brothers and sisters.

To share in this moment was to feel one with mothers, children, men, young revolutionaries, whom I had never met, but whom I knew.

In that moment, our fears and joys, our tragedies and hopes, our fists were one.

And so I cried.

No, I wept.

For the first time at a protest.

Never this unabashedly, in public.

Standing alone in a crowd.

I wept for more things than I ever knew could cause my soul such angst.

I wept from more wounds than there are places to wound on my body.

I wept in that way that rises from the pit of the stomach, the core of the soul, whatever that place is that sends sobs shaking through all the body until they are released.

Without shame.

Without comfort.

The camera shook in my unsteady hand, but I held on to the image of flags, and banners, to the sound of hope and overcoming.

Because, in that moment, I couldn’t fathom anything more beautiful.

Anything more poetic than this moment would have required an ode to life itself.

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