the madness of seeing

Sinead O’Connor’s death has me wondering if it’s even possible to exist and thrive while living a life of integrity.

Another Cassandra that tried to warn us and was rewarded with derision and exclusion. How can we ever learn if we don’t listen to the voices of integrity?

tribute for shuhada sadaqat – sinéad o’connor
by adrienne maree brown, 7/30/23

what comes first 

the madness of seeing thru

to the truth of an institution, a time

or the bravery to point

to show everyone what you see

i suspect it’s the survival

of a brutal childhood

& being told to recover

& being told you are resilient

& being told you are beautiful

when you already know the cost

of looking thru sweet fairy eyes

upon corruption

i heard you found holy respite

even if it wasn’t enough

i heard you sing of sacred love

of divine cosmic spirit

i heard that you converted

took a name that had no burden

just faith, just a soft prayer

i heard you covered your head

& kept being generous

i heard about your son

i can only imagine how you tried

to break cycles of harm

with your love

monumental being

that was a monstrous life 

& you reminded us they all are 

when monsters rule the world

& expect our civility 

no man’s woman

you invited us outside the gaze 

of predation

of domination

your bald rejection of the game, whole

a claiming of freedom, and its purpose:

to be wielded as the sharp lever

that cuts others free

and i hope you are free now

i hope you are in the palm of god

receiving the accolades

we could not offer

hearing of all the children

you helped protect and save

being sung to for your gifts

relieved of anything too heavy

for a sweet soul to carry

i hope you are with your beloveds

sovereign energies reunited

laughter of the innocent

pouring through

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