Broken Open Again

For White people doing anti-racism work
Dedicated to my friends of color

God will break your heart again and again
until it remains

I thought my heart was already open
from so damned many breakings

But out here in the granite wilderness–
on the way to the promised land–
I find it has grown a stone shell
(wanting to be safe)
(wanting to be comfortable)

New life will push through the tiniest opening
New growth will split the hardest stone

But when granite exfoliates
the pieces are sharp
and fall with a crash
heedless of what is below.

On my knees in the rubble
dusty and sobbing
I search for you—
if only to say,
like J. Alfred Prufrock,

“That wasn’t what I meant at all, at all;
it wasn’t what I meant at all.”

I find you
covered in bruises
and I want to
hang my head
in shame.

But you take my hand, and say,
You are bleeding
from the heart!”

And I look down and see that God
has broken me open