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Poetry
the relative quantity of light
"the relative quantity of light" - 5/5/19
 
Someone asked me moments ago
What my definition of equality is
My back straightened involuntarily
I sat tall in my chair and reflected
At the speed of thought that equality
To me is a subset of luminosity
 
When someone chooses for instance
To look you in the eye and ignore common
Humanity, searching instead for the difference
That divides, as an excuse to remain in darkness
Where cold's inevitable isolation paralyzes
To me that is the onset of injustice
 
I spoke to a friend today who lamented
Not having a single soul to help them 
In the aftermath of transformation's trauma
Far away from me in terms of geography
I reached out nonetheless, closeness comprised
By resilience we both share I thought we are the same
 
To be the same is not always to be equal
How privileged I am to have loving parents 
Who unconditionally embrace my deviations from
'Normal' and however long it took, eventually arrived
At my finish line of acceptance
 
My friend, who told me they lit a fire to honor
Their parents who have passed, as they recover
From surgery to become more fully themselves 
On the outside, through pain and sadness strives 
Via authenticity and acknowledgement to become equal
How often do you wrestle with society's automatic
 
Weaponized rejection of what it misunderstands
Reading in the daily paper how someone like you
Was murdered for being an unequivocal exception 
To an unjust, unholy, irresponsible rule?
Someone asked me moments ago
What my definition of equality is
 
The hairs on my arm rose to occasion as I 
Remembered two hours ago giving a few dollars to 
A homeless woman with a baby on a subway platform
I asked her what her story was and could she go
To a shelter she spoke of abuse at the hands of a man
She seemed genuinely terrified tearfully I nearly ran
 
Home to a warm apartment where I reflected 
Gratefully on having escaped a toxic 'situation'
Recently and in this moment it occurs to me that
Equality is many many things but most notable
Perhaps is that it hinges on opportunity - opportunity
To escape injustice on wings of each others' visibility