I’ll admit, I’m obsessed with how you process
my projection, how your consciousness
conceives of my existence — this corporeal form before you.
Do I bore you with my
frequent expressions of frustration, or do you
find me worthy of your attention?
Maybe we’re not there yet…are you faltering behind that veil of perception?
The one that perceives me as the matter in question, a potentially
problematic person, whose only intention is your devastation?
Am I an immigrant, a stranger, the aberrant other,
livestock taking space on a shipping container?
Have I offended you some way with my melanous appearance?
Or is it my accent that distracts from my spirit?
I’m truly quite curious to know what you’re seeing. How do you feel when I
walk down the street, approaching your person?
Is it fear, hatred, confusion, aversion?
Do you even know if I’m Arab or Persian?
Do you even care?
It seems that you do, ‘cause you’re staring right at me like I’m naked and
vulnerable: exactly how I feel,
though you conflate that with humble, but it’s okay, I forgive you.
I know it’s not your fault.
See we’ve never quite figured how to manage this part where
we encounter and quickly make false attributions,
like the reason they do that is ‘cause of their character, while
I’m given leave ‘cause the context’s what matters.
I suggest to propose that we put aside, for a moment,
these speculations, suppositions, and instead that we
listen — to each other.
I’ll give you space to ask whatever your question, and
I’ll do my best to respond, not on behalf of my brethren, but
from me and myself, because
neither of us represents an aggregation of
colour, age, gender, ethnicity, or whatever.
This is our opportunity, to diffuse the old tensions,
To witness each other, and rise above first impressions.
And I think you’ll be quite
disappointed to find just how normal a man,
that I am, I’m inclined to struggle, and battle
and brave this divide between us, while
trying to survive this unyielding bind that
prevents me from knowing just why we all try to
persist, throwing fists at the darkness of time as it
ticks, so let’s talk because frankly it’s true, that
the reason I breath is ‘cause —
I’m human, like you.