Purge my whitewashed heart,
O genderless God.
Unpack from inside of me
the prejudices of an oppressor,
knead away old biases
that lurk and permeate:
wipe my clean-slate
black-and-white face rainbow,
and open me
to the translucence of empathy.
Confront me with the everyday human:
the human I choose to ignore every day,
heart torn between ragged clothes
and burning, desperate human stories:
stories I am afraid to hear
for fear of translucent empathy:
empathy for which there is no
space or time or deadline
in my whitewashed heart.
You did not paint us in just one shade of human,
instead creating a world whose heart
is every colour we are yet to imagine:
a world designed on the premise
of elusively translucent human empathy:
a world of stories carved in skin,
where friendship is the offering of a chisel
so that we may decorate our whitewashed hearts
with every human colour we encounter.
The everyday human huddles
in pedestrian tunnels,
hands outstretched and waiting,
chisel sold long ago for a half-remembered meal.
Their stories are etched in scarred, sagging skin,
fingers curled in memory
of the last flesh-pen they held,
the last time empathy rendered them translucent.
Somewhere deep inside this whitewashed heart
is a chisel in desperate need of a lend.