Tell Them My Eyes Stayed Blue

You can tell when a man breaks


The essence of our being dances

Swims, twirls

Twinkles in the color of our gaze

Sight untroubled stares vivaciously


Hungry for the beauty of life


A broken man’s eyes thirst

Thirst for relief

Not for beauty but for redemption, salvation,


Dancing eyes submit, surrendering

Dulling their light as an act of conservation

Tucking the soul away


I remember my eyes were blue before


I had a daughter with curls, and a loving wife, and eyes like the unclouded sky

That was before reading the Torah became a crime


They came in a rush of merciless green

They were loud

Their eyes did not dance


The eyes on the train car wavered—not sure whether to hope or to relent

The eyes in the barracks sunk into shades of red and black

Red from fatigue, tears, strain

Black from the donning of Death’s shadow, falling to godless resignation

The eyes during inspection were frantic

With the thirst for safety.


After the first ashes fell,

The ground was covered in gray.

After the first relative fell,

The eye’s luster was lost to smoke.


The cruelty of man is not known

Until you are beneath the barrel of his gun

Surrounded by the walls of your own grave.

You look into his eyes and wonder if they are the same as yours

But before you find the answer

There is black.

Tell them my eyes never dulled.

Tell them I was shot by a cobalt glare

But my eyes never faltered.

They were never red, black, or gray.

My eyes stayed blue.

With hope for humanity and life and God


I know when a man breaks.

But tell them I remained unbroken.


This poem is about: 
Our world


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