Love Lessons in a Time of Settler Colonialism
I am not murdered, and I am not missing, but parts of me have been disappeared.
— Leanne Simpson
From Industrial Schools to forced assimilation, genocide means removal of those who birth nations — our living threatens. Colonization has been choking
us for generations. I tell my girls they are vessels of spirit, air to lungs expanding; this world cannot breathe without us. There are days I wish
I didn’t have to teach these lessons, but as an Indigenous womxn silence is deadening. There is danger in being seen, our bodies are targets
marked for violence. We carry the Earth’s me too inside us, a howling wind, our mothers & their mothers swallowed these bullets long ago.
The voices ricochet I wish I were invisible I wish I were invisible I wish echoes in my eardrums — we know what it’s like to live in fear. Colonialism’s bullet sits cocked,
waiting behind a finger on trigger. We breathe and speak and sing for survival. We carve out in lines; we write — I know joy I know pain I know love
I know love I know — lessons we’ve carried throughout time. Should I go missing: don’t stop searching; drag every river until it turns red and the waters of our names
stretch a flood so wide it catches everything. And we find each other whole and sacred, alive and breathing and breathing and breathing.