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  • Writer's pictureJulie Quiroz

The Practices of Power

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

6.17.23 New Moon

This past week, as my friends and family in Detroit and New York struggled to breath with northern wildfire smoke billowing in, and a record-breaking heatwave hovered over Puerto Rico where I live, I wondered what I had to offer this burning world.

Sitting with my neighbors outside in the darkness of another apagón, I thought about power, and what I had written a few years ago, reflecting on

some public incidence of violence that is now blurred from my memory:

You may think you have no power

against a pipe bomb

But you know how to cook

to transform raw nature

into beloved food

You know how to grow tomatoes

and mend torn clothes

how to crawl in under the sink

to save precious water from waste

You know how to listen

to let buried stories of pain

magnetize a compass of love

You know how to tell a story

its arc curved across seven abuelas

to magically heal a child

You know how to see the moon

by opening the door

such a simple defiance

of walls

You know how to sing

or just hum along

to create universal vibration


beyond your wildest dreams.

What you know

are the practices of power

Now is your time.

When I think of the practices of power that matter, they are still these: Our ability to create and recreate. To listen and tell stories that echo across time. To see beyond walls of our own construction. To sing. To dream.

Let us go forth in power. Now is our time.

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