By Vivek Shraya
podium mic on
this land is not ours
heads nod hands clap
are you even in the room?
once my mother accidentally drove near a reserve
the only time i have seen her afraid hit gas pedal
strange to be indian and the sound of car locks
to be synonymous with indians
is acknowledgement enough?
i acknowledge i stole this
but i am keeping it social justice
or social performance
what would it mean to digest you and yours and blood and
home and land and minerals and trees and dignities and legacies
to really honour no
show gratitude no
word for partaking in violence in progress
last year baltimore intersection black man
approaches once again a finger reaches for car
lock except this time the finger
Vivek Shraya is a Toronto-based artist. His debut novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books of 2014. Both Vivek’s debut collection of poetry, even this page is white, and his first children’s picture book, The Boy & the Bindi, will be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2016.