Poem: At the Edge of the Mountain (A hymn from a place of sadness and anger)
I carry such sadness and anger carefully, deep in the subconscious.
It is neither black nor white, but opaque that I see no other colors.
You will not see it on my social media platforms, as I have trained
the mind to show up in the best moral forms I can fathom in this era.
Then comes this day, when a snuff film surfaces on my feed regardless
of attempts to not ever go there. The covered story is not fiction.
I watch it with a good cry. Tears after tears. The truth remains and says,
“Your skin, your hair, your mind, all of it provokes others.”
Tears are dried up and the world feels cold, empty, and meaningless.
I drink a fusion of chamomile tea from three countries. Still,
I feel pressed and hammered into the era of racism and discrimination.
What happened to the past is behind and thou shall not breathe it now?
What is one to do if the past is ever here, haunting every attempt to
improve it? The unaffected world is filled with denial and rejection.
Some will go to the extent of hushing you or else it is wrongly named
a conflict of interest. Who are we protecting? Us? Them? Or humanity?
This day is cold and it says, “I am not passing through. This is the new
normal. Don’t you see me trending in the news, hashtags, and songs?”
You think I will calm down with hearing I am enough? I will not. If I
were enough, they wouldn’t come after people like me. What threatens them
to keep making damn cold days like this one? Am I bigger than I know?
I sit down to eat lunch with my family, a fusion of African and Western.
They sense my turmoil. We converse with long pauses. I can’t hold it.
My cup of keeping it together is either full or almost full. I blurt out,
“We are all racists. As long as one of us believes it is not happening
and the other hurts for it being done to them, we are all in it.”
We as them versus us, are all in it. We carry memories. Nobody is perfect
at filtering what we see and hear every day. Something is bound to stay
and more is added until you become a racist in denial. You know you are
at the edge of the mountain when you begin to look at your loved ones
with different eyes. You know it is not over when repressed memories surface:
of being discriminated against for your foreign surname, for your less kinky hair,
for your less dark skin, and for your province fashion.
You know Lucifer has come when kneeling down to pray is now the symbol of death.
You know that this day is hell when heaven is filled with killers.
Even after I write all this, the day asks, “Is this how you transcribe your anger?
Doesn’t it sound orchestrated, like a timid girl who knows not how to be angry?”
I respond, “Then I am not done with hell yet.” The day smiles and says,
“I will be here, waiting.” I dread that day.
* First published by Literally Literary on Medium