Response to the Murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Too Many Others

Jun 24, 2020


As published in Newsletter #12

1. I want to find the way to say the too many names that will echo, and keep echoing. I want the too many names to ride on the voices of children. I want the too many names to spell themselves out in the murmurations of starlings over cities. Today the streets thrum beneath the footsteps of marchers. I want the too many names to resonate in the ground like a heartbeat throughout the continents.

If you follow this path of too many names, it leads to an ocean.

I want the great white whale of silence to ponder the proximity of “complacent” to “complicit.” I want this to shake us to the core. Seismic wave to nudge us to a tipping point. I want future generations to recognize this moment as the end of a long dark age.

I want to stitch the too many names into banners and prayer flags. I want the too many names to be sung in folk songs, anthems, and operas.

2. Follow the path of too many names to the ocean. Maybe we come to a boardwalk, a pier. Look at the surf. Where moonlight plays on the waves you can pick out a future in the water glint.

We sit on crates beside garages along dusty highways and city neighborhoods. We linger in barbershops and sidewalk cafes, gather in parks, in churches, in schools, in gardens, on rooftops, at kitchen tables. We are taking lessons in listening. What are we doing with our hands?

Well, there is much mending to be done!

We are stitching, and talking, and listening. We are sewing by hand. We use every color thread.

And look at the needles!—each one silver, glinting gold. Each needle etched with one of the Too Many Names.