Unworthy Metaphor

‘Darkness’ has entered my thoughts
spilled from my mouth
in ways far from the essence of truth.

I have absorbed this notion of darkness
from pale-skinned warriors, as their metaphor 
for evil, a metaphor scattered down 
through ages like insidious spores, describing 
the horrors escaping from hardened hearts, 
standing in for rhetoric and deeds 
that chill our souls and stifle purest heart’s desire.
We are told that darkness stains the earth with hate,
that it needs to be fought and conquered by light.

Little black dresses 
are imbued with rightness and respect 
that dark skin is not (observe 
what’s in Vogue if the representative bias 
of what their whiteness reveres escapes you);
consensual desires of the flesh 
are slaked in night’s delicious dark;
cyclical darkness benefits our sleep, 
offering respite from blue-shifted light 
and its screaming words that warp 
the true meanings of dark and color and light.

I’ve watched light reflect off pale skin as it recites 
the hierarchy of skins God finds worthy. 
I’ve seen pale flesh surround cavities of molten evil
raging, danger incarnate. Yet I don’t curse sunshine 
or yoke illumination to what I value least.

On my city nights I see 
the sky’s diminished ability to showcase 
stars, and I remember my first moment 
outside the city’s blanket of electric suppression,
my fear before yielding beneath a previously unseen canopy 
thick with stars the darkness presented always,
but I had not been allowed to see in its glory.
Darkness is so often beauty 
that hasn’t been seen as what it is.

Beauty in darkness equals beauty in light.
Darkness is no longer my metaphor 
for what is wrong.

Photo by Alessandro Viaro