Written By: Ruby Gleber
July 3, 2015
I would use my skin as an apology if you would let me.
To tattoo myself into forgiveness
Maybe if I covered myself in enough ink you would forget what color I started as
I know it makes you stumble and stutter the words on your tongue
That code switching feels like the mourning of your marrow, but our bones are of the same color
So let me strip my skin off my body, tie it to my spine and wave you a white flag
I surrender my pigment
To your imagination like children who play make believe
I remember when we were children
You said I resembled your palms
would you offer them to me once more
See, I haven’t prayed in a while
So I could use two extra hands
I don’t know him that well, but surely
Surely God held you a little longer to the sun because He knew
You were the braver of us two
That the darker you are, the more courage life takes
Take it as permission to write your own hymns
I will sculpt myself ivory, a mold to your music
Slivers of white lined with slivers of black
Together, piano keys for every one of your verses.
If you love only the parts of me that remind you of yourself, then
Take my tongue
It will learn any language you ask of it
I too, dream only in our voices.
You see laughter has no history to uphold
Take, take my eyes
They have always belonged to you anyways.
They can be a peace offering from my soul to yours
Without them, I will only see black but
That’s never been a problem for me
Maybe if we were both blind,
You could think me woman enough to love you
If so, I will carve my skin into two tombstones,
Eulogizing the spaces between us
In the grave we are reduced to pebbles,
Weeds will intertwine like fingers
Holding hands without hesitation
So don’t mistake me for anything but earth
Humans forget we are just dirt aspiring to be dragonflies
My skin is too foreign for hugs to feel like home,
So lie inside of me
There is just enough hollow in my rib cage for our hearts to play hide and seek
I will whisper you something between a sunset and a sunrise
And when I let you go
When the weight of our ancestry buckles our backs and crumbles all around us
I will let you rebuild and I
I will carry my pieces and sew them new into any reality that allows us to coexist
To be stitched of the same thread
Somewhere there is a poem with all the healing we need
I will be an artist enough for the both of us.
I will let you go.
I will tell myself that the world isn’t ready for us
That you are too holy for anything but heaven
I will meet you there
As beautiful as I remember.