By Yas Tadross

If 2020 was the commodity of breath, then 2021 is the abundance of death. 

So many bodies have been lost. 

In America, the only thing that is abundant is death.

We never ask, could these deaths be preventable?

Often the answer is, they are worthy of their violence. 

That your life chances are disposable like a plastic toy, only to be thrown into the dumpster when you have been used up.

We often think visibility will save us all, but what do we have left when we are not desirable to the masses?

The answer: we don’t have anything but flesh.

I wake up most days to a knot in my stomach the size of a ball of yarn hoping that all the strings will be let loose. 

These mornings, scrolling through people’s lives finding out another Black Trans person dead, a person dying of illness in a healthcare system that seeks to escalate death rather than prevent it, another person losing vital resources and not knowing when they will ever get that back.

I don’t know how to grieve these days because how do you mourn a death when there are so many?

How do people selectively choose who they want to grieve?

I often resort to dissociating, allowing my body and my spirit to separate from each other hoping that I get through the day. 

Alignment frightens me because this world is too overwhelming. 

I wonder what it would mean to collectively grieve together?

In grieving, I hope we move beyond empathy. 

I hope we honor people more than just their accomplishments, that they existed. 

We are brought to this Earth to be with each other, not to produce and isolate.

That dissociating is only a tactic of surviving rather than being. 

I understand death is part of our life cycle, 

I want to end the systems that destroy our life chances.

Yaz is an activist, writer, and tiny house enthusiast. Their writing explores issues of being Black, Arab, Transgender, women/femme in both public and private spheres. They also explore topics of grief, reimagining romance, and navigating borderlands.