A Poem In Three Parts, Part 3: Meet Me There

The Othering & Belonging Institute commissioned poet Michelle Lee aka "Mush" to write and perform a poem in three parts on bridging and belonging for the 2021 Othering & Belonging Conference. We will be premiering this poem and accompanying visuals—featuring an array of dancers, aerialists, and performers of all kinds—in three digital shorts directed by filmmaker Yoram Savion, with creative direction from conference emcee Sarah Crowell. 

III. Meet Me There


we be a story

we be a story of love so brave

it braids a bridge

across currents of

shame and silence


we be a story of love so brave

it braids a bridge

over trouble

transforms pipelines of raw oil

into acres of wild alkali & birds of paradise


meet me there

in the city where we’ve cleansed 

the sky of stories that says

we’re better off divided


walk me there

to the sanctuary where we disrupt

the mythical parable that promises

safety in our separateness


where we pray (in all the ways humans have ever prayed)

for justice and joy

for stories of solidarity

for Freedom

for Freedom


I’ll walk you there

I’ll walk you there


past the cypher

the hoops


where the bridge bends into a circle

there, there

where there is no first and no last

no end and no beginning

on the middle of the bridge, where

we’ve forgiven each other’s hopes

that our pasts could’ve been any different

where we stay

when we’d rather look away

where we honor each other’s rage

in fact, carry it on our journies

like pearls of great price


where the peacemakers,


the healers,

the restorers,

the storytellers,

the lovers are, at last,

at the center of all things

beautiful to us


here we give thanks

here we give thanks

for the breaking that brought out

the human and the hyphen

the heaven and the other


how will we know that we’ve arrived?


we’ll know


by the sound of hammers

and collapsing guns


we’ll know


when the hidden meaning of tears

have no reason to run


we’ll know


when the most beautiful words

in the human language

can stand untranslated


we’ll feel the sheen of sweat

and our delirious hearts

breaking down borders

and bridging a way through


we’ll redesign the aisles

made to divide us

we’ll move as flesh moves with bone

we’ll speak as teeth speak with tongue

we won’t withhold our neighbor

from the pain of growth

nor will we withhold



it will be a home

for each of us

once broken

at last

now whole

Tuesday, October 19, 2021