‘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