Tag Archives: exclusion

The Experience of Exclusion: Incorporeal Embodiment

I am a ghost, but have not died
I walk among the living unseen
Apart from the occasional, startled stare
Everyone else looks quickly away

I am a ghost, but have not died
I speak, though I’ve rarely been allowed a voice
It is easier to dismiss some body different from yours
More comfortable to cut me out of conversation than to answer me

I am a ghost, but have not died
My presence alone has sometimes invoked fear
In the mirror of my sightless eyes, you see your vulnerability reflected
And the truth about mortality, long rejected, haunts you

I am a ghost who has not died
The undead vampire taking resources from the able and the strong
A zombie who cannot belong, with whom you need not empathize
I shoulder shadows, bear the burdens outcast from the light

I am a ghost, though I have yet to die
Invisible to most, but not to some
My heartbeat the same in everyone
I long, I love, I ache, I cry

I am a ghost, a human born to die
And in that we aren’t much different, you and I

Growing Up As a Blind Child

Through a one-way mirror, they eyed me,
Between us, their watchful eyes conceived the distance
And I began to lose definition.

I of the many translucent faces,
They sanded smooth my jagged edges
Painting them invisible with a missing shade of blue.

They glossed over my differences until I faded into the background
Molding my experiences so that they mapped onto their figures
Until I reflected their perspective thickly occluded.

They even tried to put an eraser
To that unusual glow that seemed to linger
Out of curiosity and the innocence of a child.

And my little ash child remembers their walls:
There were walls,
To keep her out, to contain her with,

But she saw through and far beyond them
How they were made for someone small, so she ignored and walked around them,
And the walls came tumbling down, and that is how they found them.

For a long time I searched for something to shelter me
Until with free hands I rebuilt my foundations,
And only then could I love what I made.

I’ve sought and found the knowledge
That they kept from me with stones.
I have survived their stares, I have stared back.

I have stood within the changing tides,
And learned the language of the wild song,
The one to which I’ve now come home, echoed in the blinking of an eye.

I rekindled trust as if I were tending the cauldron of Cerridwen
And in the river of memories I washed off the dust:
Why had I never seen myself before?

It was like repeating an unrecognizable name, until I realized it was mine.
It was like discovering I was a firefly,
When no one believed I could shine.

And now Across the bridge of overcoming,
I come bringing brokenness to light.
Bright beams alight along the road,

Pooling there like fallen stars, to guide my weary ash-child’s way.
Back through the darkness I reach out, the whole of her I carry in my arms,
And Whisper through her troubled dreams, I am here.

I who leapt among the flames, made it to the other side,
Tenderly I take hold of my ash child’s hand,
And into the blue, together we rise.

Look At This _ Learning In A Sighted World

This is a rock shattering against
A child’s buildings. They crumble and,
Tired of guessing, she wanders
Alone at night, scared to find a home.

This was once a stone in my shoe.
Far from stopping to shake it out,
I borrowed someone else’s feet
To ease the pain of rock climbing.

You stand in front of crowded rooms,
Full of those longing to learn this
And that. But to my estranged ears,
This and That are four letter words.

In the back row, this tells me
With that snaky S wrapped around
Its tongue, that there’s no way
I’ll ever know what this is.

This tags along like
Parentheses that print
Quantized steps on the sundry
Surface of a blackboard.

This is a door that’s always locked.
Those with access to their keys slip
Through it into the secret room.
I was given this safety pin.

This stamps my loved ones with symbols
Forcing them to march out of their
Homes without a word,
By order of the new regime.

Those who spoke out still remember
This war. How silence, drawn at attention,
Won landscapes scared to give their name.
This is the struggle of silences.

What visions die this way? Empty
Shells of this fill the air as you
Point out how beautiful we are—
I run. Fields, high volts, tears forced in.

This leaves me craving
Objects. I loved
To lie out on their properties
Soaking up the sun.

I remember this place back when
I knew few words. I’d reach out to
Touch shapes, tracing their forms. I built
My surface structure out of them.

Like an orphan, I used to try
To describe this, but I had no
Language for my origins. Through
Songs sung silently, I am disowned.

This is the sound of an age
That’s dying. Generations speak
Of us in past tense. Why this?
I just wanted to make this mine.

This would be beautiful
If it ever gave birth
To a child. We’d be the only
Songs in chromatic harmony.