It would take nature five years
To replace the city of New York
With a forest
In twenty,
The skyscrapers would start to collapse back
Into good dirt and clean air
Within 200 years
The city would be fully reclaimed by the trees
Free to restore the life that was stolen from it 

In Richmond, Virginia
A statue of Robert E. Lee
Sits atop a city built entirely of blood
So red and brazen
That they erected a memory to honor his best slaughter
It’s 2021
And graffiti is climbing this nightmare monument like hungry vines
Screaming the names of all our dead
The dirt calling us
To bear witness to a spectacle of rip and scorch 

The planet
Blooms in protest
Uproots its captors
Drags them through town squares
Burns them by miraculous flame
Drowns dark names in rivers
In oceans of fertile hands
Everything built to honor our conquer
Comes crumbling down
And we grow a new mouth
That swears to never let them make a conquest of us again 

This infamous pollution
Calls us vandals
Instead of vigilantes
Instead of restoration
Instead of the world turning its own soil

When we finish making a meadow
Over everything that has tried to bury us
The ruin
Will just be dirt 



Lindsay Young is a poet from Long Island, New York. She competed at the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam and represented the city of New York as a member of The Nuyorican Poets Cafe’s 2018 National Poetry Slam team. Lindsay was crowned a 2018 NUPIC (National Underground Poetry Individual Competition) Co-Champion. She was a member of the 2019 Brooklyn Slam team, and was part of their poetry production that premiered in Antigua in the Summer of 2019. She is the author of Salt to Taste, her debut book of poetry, which was published the Summer of 2019. She is a Winter Tangerine alumnus, a 2020 Watering Hole fellow, and her work has been published in The Fem Lit Magazine, The Offing Magazine, and featured on Blavity and SlamFind. She currently works for nonprofit organizations as a counselor and workshop facilitator, largely servicing youth of color.

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