i don’t think (our soul knows or cares at all about our veneers), or; bone dry in a forest of rain

melanin is not
inherently malignant,
and pigment needs neither
pride nor derision.

we are all of us artists,
peacock feathers
in our hands, painting
our ravenous canvases,
flesh only slaked by the sweet
tender toothsomeness of flesh.
dipping our skins,
animal, into narcotic vats
of Culture and Meaning.
fresh from womb,
your skin does nothing
to dictate a preference
in music or food.
the swell and slack
of your lips are in no way
a provocateur,
the scaffolding of your face
unbothered by the embellishment
of skin. this melanin
is not malignant
and your pigment is not
for pride nor shame.

peacock wears itself
heavy with all those colors.
the brighter it boasts
the more sex it can secure,
yes, though all this need keeps it
a largely flightless bird.
bones turn to soaking
dust beneath the demands
we place upon our skin.

thin skin,
an organ,
it is given
to music,
not the
deafening defeat
of violence.

none of these
words,
none of them
belong to me.
none of them are
mine.

this allows me to say;
“the very hairs of your head
are all numbered”.
and what else, then, is left?
what else,
what else—oh
conscripted skin, we tear
at you, we take
your beauty from you.
it is not ours
to take. oh
borderless voice,
“i sing because
i am happy.
i sing because i am
free”.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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