I had a black skin once,
but I took myself to the edges of the cliffs
and peeled myself,
until I was nothing but blood and bones
and even that I refuse to look at
and call as part of my own.
So many cultures
so many races
so many nations
so many skins
and you wouldn’t yet pause to think
that all of this wealth
all of this wonder
all of this greatness
the greatest things humans could ever look forward to
or partake themselves in
came from the death, embezzlement, and destruction
of so many other people
who are now a part of your story
and yet blend in fully, all too fully
as if their heartache and loss were nothing but unturned stones.
My lips pucker,
but nothing comes out.
hope for the best,
I expect the worst,
because there is so much inside of me,
too much inside of me,
from the start of where life began,
to the days where the ends of times will see itself produced.
And I see both and none of it at once.
I feel like I belong to all of the world
despite being completely shunned.
and so I hope,
but accept the fact that I am ignored and forgotten,
a speck on the spotlight,
that will someday blossom and grow.
Kiran Bhat is a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. He has currently traveled to over 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He is primarily known as the author of we of the forsaken world… (Iguana Books, 2020), but he has authored books in four foreign languages, and has had his writing published in The Kenyon Review, The Brooklyn Rail, The Colorado Review, Eclectica, 3AM Magazine, The Radical Art Review, The Chakkar, Mascara Literary Review, and several other places. His list of homes is vast, but his heart and spirit always remains in Mumbai, somehow. He is currently bumming around Mexico. You can find him on @Weltgeist Kiran.*