When I get Triggered back to That Summer: A Poem of Feelings in 10 parts

  1. Guilt

I feel guilty for not going bigger.

I feel guilty for not doing more, getting louder, getting angrier, being more creative, giving more, getting more, getting seen, getting attention, making more of a difference.

I feel regret.

I feel a yearning to do better.

I feel disbelief that today is now and not August 13th.

Why can’t we be back at August 13th.

Why can’t we be back at July 13th.

June 13th.

May 13th.

Why can’t we do this differently.

I don’t want to feel regret anymore.

I want to do now exactly what I should be doing.

And I feel I should be doing more.


  1. More

More for Charlottesville.

More for the Jewish community.

More for the Black women and Black queer people who are leading the way.


  1. With

More with Charlottesville.

More with the Jewish community.

More with the Black women and Black queer people who are leading the way.


  1. Now

Now when I have papers to grade.

Now when I have an exam to proctor.

Now when I am overwhelmed.

Now when my friends are overwhelmed.



  1. Still

Still, I am still.

Still, I sit with not a motion.

Still, I want more from myself.

Still, I feel the triggers rise and fall and rise again.

Fuck it.


  1. Fuck

Fuck fascism.

Fuck Nazis.

Fuck white supremacy.

Fuck you for telling me that my anger is the reason I am not being as effective as I could be.

Fuck that.

I’m not angry as a strategy.

I’m angry as a reality.

And YOU are the reason I am not being as effective as I could be.


  1. Sorry

Sorry, maybe that was too much.

It’s not you.

It’s the Nazis.

Sorry, it’s not you, I really really want you by my side.

I do, I do, I really do.

Please let’s work together.

There’s so much we can do!


  1. Please

Please don’t be mad at me.

Please don’t dismiss me.

Please don’t push me away.

Please don’t reject me.

Please don’t abandon me.

Please, pay attention.

Please, understand.

Please, give yourself the space to rage.

And work, and rage, and work, and rage.


  1. And

And love.

And work.

And rage.

And love.

And grieve.

And rest.

And love.

And hope.

And heal.

And love.

And fight.

And fight.

And love.


  1. Love

I love her every day.

I miss her every day, when I’m away.

I am better when I’m with her.

And she says the same about me.

Why would I not be there, then?

There, now.

With her, now.

I love her so much.

I feel so lucky.

I love her so much.

I’m yours.

Published by Mimi Arbeit

sexuality educator, developmental scientist, feminist.

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