An Epic Poem Written by Ethan Gonzales
“Rule number 1, never go out in the sun. For it will burn you like it did to me.
It will scorch you like the rocks scattered across our house
Dimming its shade, baking its outer layer, As it absorbs its toxic and lethal rays.” 5
“Rule number two, bathe daily with this, my love. For it holds the key to a desirable identity And the powers of the elite.
You will become perfect, mijo.” 10
Not once, nor twice, did he hear such commands, But a whole lifetime, endlessly fed to his Adolescent ears, whilst receiving a gift.
A gift in high demand yet compact in size, it was Mighty in its nature, used especially by the needy. 15
A bar of soap.
To the valuable, may they think “what significance may a soap have”
But to him and the ones of his kind, it was an eraser.*
An eraser that demolishes all blemishes and stains Acted on clothing, may it enhance its more flawless features 20 Satisfying the eyes of its possessor.
“Look at your acquaintances, your relatives, how happy they must be.
For they attract the eyes of old and young, Men and women, rich and poor
They shall be your inspiration, your idols 25 For no one wants to taste a burnt biscuit from the batch.”
Day by day, he sweltered in the blazing summer sun Covering, protecting his body with padded fabrics. By night, he anticipated for his miraculous remedy Expecting, awaiting to heal his loathsome disease.30
And there, he began, disrupting
his innocent surface
Wishing to wash away his pigment, to redesign it. The less of an outcome it had shown,
The more he found himself erasing vigorously CONTINUALLY, DAILY, HEAVILY, PAINFULLY. 35
Pain. By the next full moon, to his surprise, His skin glowed--crimson, stinging by the touch. A sting only a thousand bees can bring
Though questioning his own effort, he remained faithful,
“For the pain will make you pretty.” 40
365, 730, 1095 sunrises and sunsets
On repeat, he endured the effects of his fix But for him at least, the excruciating factor Was its subtle, inadequate delivery.
FAILURE, CHAGRIN, ANGUISH, HATRED. 45
But at one occurrence, he had heard
“I’d love to just wear your color one day. Your tanned, bronze outer appearance.
For it exists with beauty and allure.”
Though a complement to some, he took offense. 50
Came rushing with immediate regret:
“Why try to reject my tint
but have others appeal to it?
To cure a sickness that
Had never even existed? 55 A false diagnosis.
Not to just be accepted, but to survive.
To deny our color is a ticket to
Opportunities, and all what the human desires FAME, GAIN, SECURITY, PRIVILEGE.60 All what my ancestors strived for.
But if the skin doesn’t want to change,
Why shall I?
For its the beauty within that perfects the identity The fear of acquiring the transformation I had long for 65 And it not being enough remains within.
Who am I to give up that easily?”
An epiphany, a revelation
Never to touch that distorted essence once more For it scorches him like the rocks outdoors. 70
There, he broke free from the idea
The false judge that founded his people guilty And brought him to injustice
Hate his own gift that he may only receive Who was he to refuse a gift that hasn’t even been opened yet? 75
While an old tethered box can hold a luxurious set of pearls.
One with polished casing can hold nothing to offer. Thus his gift was his and may he treasure it For the rules blinded him from retrieving it, now GONE, OLD, AWAY, OVER. 80
*Note: This poetic device is a metaphor, comparing two unlike things, in this case, the bar of soap and an eraser, in a meaningful, descriptive manner.