Those Eyes by Rachel Bryson
You with those big brown eyes peered through the balcony gates
At sneakers that dangled from telephone lines,
The graffiti plastered walls for those who rest in peace,
At the pigeons who preyed on stale wonder bread thrown from your fingertips,
The societies with 9 to 5 jobs who sat on park benches till day break,
At the grandmother whose back bent with burden from groceries in hand
and the family on her shoulders.
At the backbone of a mother who held hunger in her eyes and lint slept in her pockets.
You glared at those whose hearts still beat but were no longer living from the father’s that started businesses in their veins.
At the fatherless sons and daughters who played house to escape the harsh realities of which they came from brokenness…
You with those big brown eyes peered through the balcony gates of the Eiffel tower at the cafes that lined the cobbled streets of Paris
Where people ate pommes frites and painters littered the streets.
Where the Louvre illuminated the sky and lovers walked hand in hand under the crescent moon and faded into the dawn.
Amidst the mountains of France you listened to the whispers of suffering and saw anguish inscribed by fingernail on concentration camp walls.
You dropped hope in the hand of a gypsy perched on the corner and wondered if she ever longed for her country… on the corner
You with those big brown eyes peered over the city scape of Kuala Lumpur’s Malacca streets. You admired the sisters etched in fabric that protected
their beauty from the universe and wore their hijabs like crowns.
You listened to the azan that echoed from mosques where
brothers purified their souls facing Mecca.
At the people who indulged in Teh Tarik at stalls where cups of milk-tea poured through mid-air and froth overflowed the brim.
The sweet aroma of curry and nameless scents danced across
Your nose as you breathed in the market air.
You walked upon the rugged streets of Bangkok where locals smiled
On crowded Tuk-tuks and bicycles.
You sat upon Buddhist monks & tigers and gave offerings of gold leafs at temples.
You shared long treks with the indigenous in the jungle-drenched mountains of Sarawak.
You gazed up at expensive high rises in Singapore and down in dismay at girls who followed cat calls into the depths of despair …
You with those big brown eyes peered over the mountains
where the roosters crow come morning.
At the land where people swayed and danced like palm trees in the calypso wind.
You knew you were welcomed there when the heavenly smell of fresh baked bread invited you. You relished in the vibrant array of costumes and voices of rum
that swelled the streets of Port of Spain.
You looked upon the evening sky and wished upon a star.
You listened to the melodies of steel drums that filled the air and take away your every care.
You cleansed your spirit in the sunset’s iridescent sea where your ancestors called you….
You with those big brown eyes peer into your soul for it is a landmark all within its own…worth taking several visits to calling you to your higher self…
Rachel Bryson is a 26 year old Afro-Caribbean woman from Brooklyn, New York.
Illustration, “Of Color, of Femme 2.0”, by Tara Raemerd (instagram).