We wait and we wait and we wait. Patiently. Lovingly. Anguished.
We wait for our schools to be safe,
For our streets to be cleaned,
For our vecindades to have jobs,
And for our families to walk through these spaces without being criminalized.
We wait for our neighbors to stop leering at us,
For their dogs to stop barking at us,
And for them to stop acting as if WE entered their havens.
We wait for our landlords to answer our calls,
For the faucets to have clean water,
For our roofs to stop caving in on us every time it rains,
And for real estate agents to stop selling these buildings out.
We wait for the clinics to admit us without first labeling us,
For our doctors to work with instead of just getting rid of us,
For our ‘coverage’ to stay put without our having to reapply,
And for healthcare that isn’t based on our (in)ability to pay.
We wait for the few jobs we do have to pay livable wages,
For our superiors at work to stop bullying us,
For interviewers to stop merely using our names to cross off some checklist,
And we wait to work for the people of our communities rather than just the owners.
We also wait for billionaires to stop bloating our veins,
For our ‘checks and balances’ to check and balance the polluters,
For the GMs and the Exxon Mobiles, to be reined in,
And for ‘leaders’ who don’t call for these things only when it’s election season.
We wait also for courtrooms to stop feeding on our people as these other waits hold,
For any allies in our resistance in these struggles to view us as partners rather than peons,
We wait for another way of life to finally arrive,
And we wait for it to get here before it’s too late for another one of our babies.
We wait patiently. Lovingly. Anguished.
But the past has yet to die.
When is it time, Los Angeles.