We’re not counting little boxes on the hillside anymore;
We’re counting dots on the borderlines,
Black, brown, beige, rarely white, but sometimes,
If I squeeze my eyes tight enough, they merge, bleed to one,
They don’t bleed alone.
An inconvenient blob; a mass of colourful nothing.
They’re matter, they don’t matter,
Their names… Wait, they have names?
I’m so guilty for not feeling guilty,
For not feeling anything,
For switching the channel,
For calling them wallpaper,
For just seeing dots.
They scream, cry, beg the guards,
Search for their babies; smaller dots.
It’s a soundtrack; turn it down, please?
It’s better off.
We’re better off.
I’m so careful to not care,
That I’m deaf,
That I’m blind,
That I’m numb,
to it all.
Maybe they are too; maybe they don’t feel,
but I know they do.
Photograph: United Nations
By Charlotte Grainger