Hong Kong protesters. Via Studio Incendo/Flickr.


Poetry runner-up of the Writing in the Margins contest

if organizers in Hong Kong share tactics
with their peers in Santiago, who then whisper
thru WhatsApp to friends in Quito, who have tips
that Lebanese trade-unionists can make
incendiary use of;

if that love affair you had
that one time at a conference in
another country is stirred once more,
ghostly, in your body
by the sense you’re now in struggle
in the selfsame way that onetime lover
across fictive borders is;

and if when teachers strike the flight
attendants strike; the word gets out
this works; the cops come out in force
because the threat of working people’s
solidarity is real, the struggle backed
by those who can no longer work
or never could, the riot and the strike
in striking, riotous harmony, the struggle led
not by the old industrial class alone
but by those whom the factory needs and hides:
healers of bodies, forgers of minds,
so many women, racialized, who walk the picket
line and then go home to cook good lunches
for the kids dependent on school programs
for a meal;

if word of such devices spreads,
and more than word,
it may not be just capital that overcomes
the hardened borders of the future capital’s
intent that most of us won’t see. it may not be
just influence, hegemony. it may be us,
and those of us we haven’t yet
begun to think about as us,
who move.


This poem was the runner-up in the poetry category of our ninth annual Writing in the Margins contest. Poetry entries were judged by El Jones. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG) to this year’s contest. Briarpatch will be accepting entries for the ninth Writing in the Margins contest in September 2020.

Daniel Sarah Karasik (they/them) is the managing editor of Midnight Sun, a magazine of socialist strategy, analysis, and culture. Their most recent book is the poetry collection Plenitude (Book*hug Press).

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