Blank Canvas

Najma Adan

Darkness all around — realizing I can’t dig myself out of this deep, black hole
As if trying to erase everything from my past,
will somehow help build my life for the future.
Nothing seems to have changed because too much has changed.
Instead of trying to erase my past, my history, my life,
why not embrace it with open arms? 
But how to do that with weight lingering at the back of my mind and within society all around?
Being looked at under a microscope, 
small, insignificant, worthless. 
Trying to scratch, and rub off my skin as if my melanin will wipe away, 
just like my roots did.
Not knowing where to look: left or right 
Painting us with our own blood, sweat, and tears through years of suffering as though we are the ones who are the creators of our own pain.
But little do they know that they were the ones who had infused us with this self-hatred.
A parade of noise cries, and commotion going everywhere
yet there is silence, stillness, a lull
for when we are alone we are loud, rambunctious, free with our tongues slaying every which way
But when the light comes to shine in our way up ahead, we are stunned by the beauty we think it is and are immediately cut off — from sounds, beats of our hearts, and even our deep, blank minds. 
All it takes is a switch, 
turning light into dark and what’s treasured most into lumps of coal. 
The thick, coarse hair of our ancestors and our forefathers was and still is, dark, black, and dull
Not falling into wavy curls or cascading down our gashed backs from the sun beating down on us every day.
Trying to cover it all up with a patch of fabric, rough to the touch — concealing our very existence. 
But all that matters now is that I can see the light pouring down on us,
teasing us with its height, glorifying itself to seem much more grand and enchanted than it really is.
For now, the darkness is my blanket,
comforting, warm, and ringing truth.
That deep, black hole is now where I want to be,
since that light up there won’t do anything but beat me down back into it,
for it is the very thing that embraces me —
in all my baggage, my history, and my darkness. 

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