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imageInstead of the sparkly gold
Or sequenced green
Or metallic red sweaters
I wear black.

I wear black to remember the lives of
Michael and Tamir and Rumain and John and Eric
And so many other names we know
And don’t know.

I wear black to remember my sisters
Killed by their “loves” within their homes
Or on their way to work
Or any other space intimate violence happens.

I wear black to remember the sexual violence
In college dorm rooms
And young adult apartments
And cars
And parks
And through purchases
Because, apparently, people can still be bought and sold.

I wear black to remember all those who died in war-
Some wars less just than others.
And to defy the justification of torture.
And I wear black remembering the ones who came back
But parts of their bodies and souls were missing.

I wear black to remember those in Connecticut,
The classroom which buzzed with six-year-olds now silent
And how two years later peace is anything but silent.

I wear black to remember the ones who died this week
Or last week
And every single loved one who cries tonight
And on Christmas morning,
As they gaze upon the Christmas gifts that will remain unopened
Because a loved one is gone.

I wear black to remember the ones who mourn their relationship
A divorce.  A breakup.
A tear in the heart.
They live a new life, but old memories linger.

I wear black to remember those living in constant pain
Their bodies revolt against them.
It’s their necks, or backs, or knees or feet.
But the pain will never go away.

I wear black to remember those living their last Christmas
And those who “celebrate” with them,
Wondering how they can make this one special
Even after the terminal news.

I wear black to remember those who live in shadows
Who face the dread of depression
The shakes of anxiety
The roller coasters of bipolar
And each mental health challenge they may not mention aloud.

I wear black to remember those who are in the night of their lives-
A very long night-
Whose exile extends for days
And who will wander in the wilderness longer than expected.

Darkness is not darkness to God.
May our evenings be as bright as daytime.
May we find beauty in the nighttime of our souls
And in the areas void of light.

May we wear red metallic
And the green sequins
And sparkly gold sweaters
Next year.

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