eyes of dread

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brown

my eyes are brown, did you know
mud-weary at this point and still brown
brown like the polyester pants I wore as a child
brown like the earth
honest and foot-affirming
when my large brown eyes were bigger than my little face
I learned to aim high for the heavens and shoot purposefully for the stars
sky-colored eyes and sunshine hair made perfect sense 
perfect sense
every time I gazed in the mirror I wondered
do they know I’m aiming and shooting for things beyond my reach
with brown eyes and brown hair and brown polyester
I am not Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella
damn these wrong colors
blue eyes I do not possess
plastic eyes in ocean colors, sold by the gross, shipped on palettes
will be fitted into gorgeous dolls with sunshine hair
it doesn’t matter to a brown-eyed face that ocean eyeballs are synthetic
in her little mind, these things are more real than her own tiny heartbeat
and so the brown-eyed child grows up
dreaming
for all of us to be loved for
“the content of our character”
and the pure color of our caring

Glodian/oil

Glodian/oil

MLK’s actual quote, “…by the content of their character.” (not our) – thank you

As a brown-eyed child growing up, I often felt this way

my dragon’s heart

there are too many tongues in my ears
everything mixing with the wrong fluids
an unclear complexion trapped beneath blemished hopes
we are stewing in emotional minefields
melting pots boiling over
the bodies stirring these battlefields are toxic flirts
where is the harmony earth leverages to sustain humanity
many gather, hoping sharpened tools don’t escalate
we perpetually run this gauntlet
crawling beneath wires and above clouds
the young need warmth
while we burn cold
I tread a plastic hamster wheel inside a discarded shipping box
but I am not a rat, at least not yet
not ready to leap like a lemming
or slumber like a bear
if I were a fire-breathing dragon
I’d ride those shimmering scales away to fantastic skies
but I don’t imagine escaping
I don’t imagine loving any less
my children are life-bound to this earth
a planet I introduced them to
my children are not shackles
they are my dragon’s heart
can you forgive me
if I forgive their children
though they despise you
will they forgive my flesh and blood
eye close