we are Atlas

a brown-skinned hand holding a watermelon slice against a backdrop of water

cw: this poem contains references to war, genocide, and violence

scream, scream against the dying of the light
scream, against the dying
scream, scream

a better world is possible
it will take all of us to make it
where ‘all of us’ means those who will do the work

for those without a voice
for those with voices unheard
un-listened to

scream, scream
a better world is possible
we will make it true

bring the weight of the world down on our shoulders
we are Atlas
we will carry it for those who
have no childhood
have no children
have no home
have no place

you taught us that humanity is cruel
you showed us on our bodies how deeply you hate
you cheered for death
you called the cops
you sent the bombs
you knocked over our tents
you blew it up again for good measure
you drove over our bodies

we are willing and unwilling sacrifices
we are finding each other
we are pulling someone from rubble
we are throwing water on a fire
we are letting it burn

we cannot rest
how can we rest

we will scream until
nobody needs to scream again
even when history repeats its cycle
we will be screaming and screaming

peace does not arrive on its own
we must weave it into reality
a better world is possible only if we are willing
to scream
to up-end
to block the road
to shame you in your own home
to remind you that you stole that land
to never let you forget

if we remember anything
if our descendants recall who we were
let them remember how we screamed
why we screamed

this is the blessing we leave you
don’t fear
don’t hesitate
don’t forget
let peace embrace you like our love
we hope you live in the better world

Phoenix Kelley, May 5 2024


This is the revolution tell me
Where were you
When our flags turned white
Cause our lips turned blue

When the pavement’s red
When your friends are dead
When the sky turns black
While you’re in your bed

If they come for us they could come for you
When they take my life they could take yours too

This is war this is war
What are we fighting for
What are we dying for
This is war

When the bodies drop don’t look away
Watch the bullets fly to the sound of grenades
I will never be afraid

Remember their names don’t look away
When the killing stops don’t look away
Watch the victims cry to the sound of brigades
I will never be okay
Remember their names don’t look away

selection from This Is War by Huxlxy

This Is War: Spotify link
This Is War: YouTube link
This Is War: Soundcloud link


I’ve been reading a lot of books and listening to a lot of music and watching a lot of Asian dramas and not sleeping very well and having a lot of allergies and feeling depressed and having high chronic pain days and feeling extremely overstimulated by almost everything.

My collection of documents now includes a list of the (over 100) dramas I have on my watchlist(s), plus what I’m watching, and what I already finished; plus all the books I’ve read, which ones I’m reading, and my TBR list for this year. An itch needed scratching, I guess, and I’m updating the document every time I start or finish something, so it feels like I’m doing something with it.

I will leave you with a video I saved from TikTok and uploaded as an Instagram reel: Columbia University students screaming at the top of their lungs in the night at the university president’s home. Scream. Scream as loud as you can.

(posted reel on Instagram: direct link is here)


Nix Kelley
Co-parent to multiple kids. Writer. Death doula. Member of the Order of the Good Death. Seeker on the Path of Light. Queer, non-binary, & trans.


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