Some sleep joyfully while some gain pleasure, finding joy, in inflicting pain and suffering on helpless people, animals.
Some sleep blissfully while women and children are sold for their bodies.
Some sleep carelessly while brutality and excessive force is justified by a color, a look, a wallet, an unpaid ticket.
Some sleep silently while leaders now sit on their thrones: the most powerful, similar, privileged, wealthy, inexperienced, oppressive.
Some sleep fearlessly while the wall waits to be built and the wars execute the innocent and the refugees are denied refuge.
Some sleep soundly while the minorities are imprisoned to fill a quota and not a sentencing.
Some sleep weightlessly while children and families drink dirt and feel the weight of malnutrition.
Some sleep painlessly while a child with polio is above vaccination but below autism.
Some sleep dreamily while parents overdose in the front seat while their children cry in the back.
Some sleep softly while the victims of sexual harassment, assault, rape cannot be victim. Simply, they say “asking for it.”
Some sleep comfortably while workers and children are used and abused for various luxuries while they live off cents a day.
Some sleep quietly while they teach white history and sweep their violences and abuses under the rug of institutional marginalization, racism, classism…
Some sleep audaciously while people die from old age but also from homicide, suicide, genocide, neglect, crime, hate, white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, anti-(insert here) …
Some sleep, look away. Some remain silent and destroy.
But there are those of us who are painfully awake. Wanting to futilely shout “WAKE UP” to those around us, while trying to refrain from looking too aggressive, emotional, vulnerable. Our numbers gather to make signs, struggling to put so much of themselves into a brief blank space.
So we lie awake; sometimes scared, sometimes angry, but never complacent. Doing anything and everything we possibly can. Yes, some sleep. But most of us keep fighting, never to fall asleep again.
Ericka Russell is 23-years-old with a degree in Creative Writing from Ohio University. Ericka is trying to pursue grad school after taking a year off to start saving up. She hopes to one day become an eccentric and lively professor. Her day job includes tutoring for special needs children while trying to keep her creativity alive outside of school. She considers herself a dedicated plant mother. In her free time she can be found thrift shopping, going on fake house-hunting walks, and, of course, reading and writing. Her most sacred item is the journal of book ideas next to her bed. Although, some of said ideas don’t make much sense in the morning. Along with poetry, she writes fiction, specifically young adult. She fell in love with poetry recently, but her appreciation for it grew large quickly. Her passion for writing stems from her tendency to speak on behalf of the quiet, although she herself is rather quiet.