1866 c/o Angela Cleland

         I am as far away as I will get
in your lifetime,
in the lifetime of your children,
in the lifetime of your children’s children…

A piece of paper is being signed
by some lighter-skinned humans
about some darker-skinned humans,
         which means nothing to a planet.

         But distance means something to me,
         and being recognised
         to exist in space and time,
         space and time as vast as unconsciousness,

vaster than your repeating pattern of
epidemics, financial crises, wars,
vaster than your ability to imagine
things to be better than they are,

         that means something to me,
         recognition. But I am as distant
         as I will get. I am on my way
back toward your ken. See me,

accept me for what I am, name me,
and keep on speaking my name like a promise,
because it would be too easy for you to rewrite
         the galaxy, erase the status you’ve given me.

         As easy as looking at the sky and pointing,
         as easy as looking at a man and pointing.
         I’ve been watching you. All it would take
is a roomful of you with a quill and an inkwell.