Discriminate not!

Why can’t you see
What I can be?
Why let your eyes
Dishonor me?

Don’t let my skin
Dictate my fate
My ugliness
Turn into hate

My accent may
Not be as good
I may not speak
The way I should

Your red passport
May reign supreme
My dark green book
In low esteem

In looks alone
We may not match
But hold that thought
There is a catch

Come close to me
And hear my heart
Could beats alone
Tell us apart?

The pain we feel
When love is lost
Discriminates?
No, it does not!

When fires burn
And ashes blow
The pungent smell
Don’t we well know?

The anguished wails
Of orphaned kids
You hear them too
With wet eyelids

When you bite on
Your tongue in haste
Do you not sense
The metal taste?

So why do you
Build up this wall
Why then, my friend
Make me feel small

Just look beyond
My darkened skin
And see the light
That shines within

When all is done
We are the same
There is no guilt
There is no shame

My nights like yours
Are filled with dreams
Of catching stars
And chasing streams

With this new thought
Let go, be free
And see me for
What I can be!

– Yousuf Bawany, Feb 2022