What It Feels Like

Photography by Lakyn Barton

The time never comes.

It keeps sticking out its hand like it wants you to take it.
It keeps reaching out, palm upwards
And it stays there for so long that the sun carves its name into its skin
And it gets third degree burns.

The fingerprints and lines of fate and fortune
Fall away
They peel off like shards of dusted glass
They descend peacefully like taffeta

It stays there so long that birds shit on it and believe it is a statue
They raise entire families
Where some of the eggs are pushed away
And shatter like good ideas on the ground

The shadow is the eternal night-time of indigenous peoples.
Where the gaps between the fingers let sun through,
Fields grow.

It stays there so long
Like an uncle’s hand does,
Always wanting to trick you into going for a high five.

It begs to be held,
But the time never comes

Because as you reach out for the hand that has always been there,
It lets you grab for nothing
And watches you fall on the families, taffeta, feathers and farms.

It reaches between its thighs in pleasure
It evades the grime of someone else’s touch
It avoids a child-like dependency
It says dirty things in sign language,
Like crude jokes and pornographic histories and racial slurs

And all the indigenous peoples whose ears were deafened by the shatter of good ideas
And are silent in their suffering,

Because their god turns out to be a real swine.
They reach for one another in the new light of daytime
And say with brusque and angry motions of their lobster-coloured arms:
“I want the darkness back”

But the daytime stays
And the night-time stays
And the time never comes.