I was thinking about this as a way for some of us to cope with prejudice and hell in groups of people we could have been closer to. I dedicate this poem to my dear boyfriend, who though he may seem different from others, well, he’s a man. We were hanging out before he left for school in Littleton, and there we were on my bedspread, almost in tears and such, and I should’ve known! But this guy was great about telling me what was the last line in the poem. Feel free to enjoy this as you read it carefully. So here, for those who wish to see my poetic skills at work, is the poem that maybe some may find beautiful.
Turn Off the Sighted Lights
It began with the sense of sight,
We turned on the light.
Then, we saw them:
People who are different than us,
We’re all different as I am speaking.
We all said they shouldn’t be seeking
The pursuit of happiness and friendliness of our virtues and values and valor.
We told blacks to sit in the back of the bus,
Told Japanese Americans to live in stalls
For fear they’d spy on us, pry on us, get inside our
Secrets and success.
We now fear hijab, niqab, anything with Islam or Arab in it.
We fear everything that isn’t what we like:
Fair, blonde, Hitleresque.
We fear those who cannot see things
The way those bearing the lights do.
So let’s do us a big favor:
Turn off the lights.
Let’s cut down the six foot tall blondies,
Let’s cut down the fair skinned ones with the glowing blue eyes,
Let’s show the ones who think it funny to steal another’s honey
That love can be found in the dark.
When I look into my lover’s face,
When I feel his tears cascade across my chest,
When I lay his head to rest against me,
I feel the pain of those who turn on the lights.
So turn off the sighted lights.
If only our world would be as blind as I am, as he is.
I feel the hurt and sadness
Of a sighted world plaugued by prejudice
Against different skin colors,
Different hair colors,
And then the mental issues become a problem.
One day a doc could say to you,
She’s worthless because her mind is sick.
But if you turn off the lights,
Go into the dark closet of hope,
There is yet another light at the end of the tunnel.
This light has no color, it is happy.
At the breaking point, my lover says to me,
How could anyone not see me as a person?
I only said to him, somebody please
Turn off the sighted lights
And let them learn who we really are.
As he later said to me,
You are not alone.