Succumb

Succumb
I scrolled endlessly
Suffocating
Stumbling
Because I felt
Nothing.

I remember June 24th

Roe had died.

And my phone,

Flooded with


“My body, my choice”

“Blood on your hands”

“My mother had more rights than me”

“Abort the Supreme Court”


“We will die”


They posted

They promised

Just as they had before

Her death


I scrolled endlessly

Suffocating

Stumbling

Because I felt

Nothing.


It felt

Deeper than numbness

Darker than

Nothing,

It churned within my stomach

Making me sick


Hope is a ravenous thing.

Sure,

We know that hope isn’t blind

Belief

We know that Hope

Is work, endurance

Small steps forward


          We gloried in our hope

          We chanted

          And woke up

          We were emboldened


But just as Hope grows slowly, solidifies in people’s hearts

Our Hope has been slowly

Dismantled

We have broken it down

Piece by piece

All that remains

Is

That nothingness

Acceptance, what a dreadful thing


          2020 was the year of Protest and Promise and

          Hope

          But we let it slip from our grasp

          Now we fail to grasp

          The magnitude of chaos

          The cruelty

          We ignore.


All that remains is that terrible

Cycle of cynicism

Catastrophe that does not spark

Change


          We let blood spill

          And then we screamed for a difference

          For something better


Now blood floods

Staining every street

Every salon

Every school

Every sacred

Body,

Skin

Sinking into our souls


          We succumbed to the status quo

          To ourselves


We used to drown in this blood, we shuddered

Now we swim in it.


          We marched towards something beautiful

          We were foot soldiers

          We were inexorable


Now we march toward complacency

We are inexorable

We embrace the inevitable

And we will rot for it.


          When will we

          Resurrect ourselves?

          When will we

          Re-

          Awaken

          When will we hope,

          Truly,

          Again?


The focus of this piece is our collective cynicism. It’s about getting used to tragedy and chaos; it’s about subtly giving up. I remember the fervor of 2020 and the promise it had. In 2020, we had hope. Over the past two years, we’ve stuck to just that: promise. Real policy that spurs widespread change has yet to be implemented. In 2022, we gave up. Even worse, we’re going backwards. As our rights get taken away and more lives are lost, we still can’t seem to wake up. We can’t seem to hope again. This piece attempts to express that helplessness.


Editors: Nikki J, Nadine R, Anoushka K.