By Tye Iverson PZ ’26
“Cause you’re the Green Manalishi with the two-pronged crown […] Leavin’ me here just tryin’ to keep from followin’ you” – Peter Green
I’ve had my blue eyes open for a few years now. The reeking bruises from your pissed-on concrete have stained my back; green and purple thrive upon my seemingly mossy skin. My clothes stink of the flat rocks I sleep on, the chewed spit gum sticks much easier than you’d think, though I’ve heard the flavor stays faded. Laying upon the street watching days pass has ushered my buried person to a downward void, so deep the heat pinches my skin like digging nails from rotting wood. I walk with a drag now, I never did, for I was a man of uniform. I was suited with society’s desired brain; the right mind. I used to strut with the walk of others, arguably a better one. I was visible to the individuals around me; they saw me for who I was.
An x-ray has been stapled to my now translucent skin, stitched so you may see my insides upon a single glance, but it’s meaningless as an imperceptible figure has surely taken my place. I wear my same black coat everyday, with each night tossing and turning to find a position of my own comfort, but nothing ever seems to make me breathe easy. My mind wanders far too close to the possibilities of a reality I live; what’s it gonna’ be tonight?
Each day as the light rises, I follow.My destination is one I’ll never know, maybe I’ll find my way back to the same place. Walking in a circle seems to have followed me around for a while, and I’m not the only one here. You see the others too: your eyes deceive them to be bathers of dirt, but now that I can see I know they’re just as clean as you are, maybe even more so. Your eyes are blindfolded by your wads of heaping green paper with the faces of yourself on their outside. You tell me to figure it out, to try a little harder, but my try is beat and I can’t stand the way you look at me now.
Kids also join me in their hole-struck clothes, they lay on the street with their cardboard signs asking for you, but you just walk on by. They cry and cry, but you’re too busy with your own self to see their tears which mark your path. You walk that same trail, the one we sleep on every night and you scoff at my efforts; I don’t want to die and you just want to live, we’re the damn same.
Upon the night’s fall I’ll choose to close those soft blue eyes that sink a little. The very ones you used to recognize. The ones that had a family, the ones that had a home with a scent. And when the stars shine up in the gaps of sky, they’ll bathe the lids that cover my soul. You’ll close yours all the same, but tucked into your ‘old and dirty’ sheets that were cleaned the night before. I hope your eyes keep open tonight, my faces tying you up, but I know I’m not stupid. I see how the images you breathe, the ones you may not dismiss to a try, will be gone as dust soon.
Within the moments of lying amongst yourself, I want you to remember me. See where I am in the eye of your stir-fried mind. See me sleeping upon the common path you will march in the morrow. As I lie upon the soft and cozy concrete filled with your collected dust I won’t be thinking of you. In fact when trying to find my way to a dream I’ll be pondering the person behind me, the one that’s only six feet past my back and trying to take the socks from my cold feet. I wouldn’t mind a bit if he did because my feet have been exposed to your echoing mechanism for a few years now.
The first twelve years of my life I was in Seattle. I spent most weekends handing out clothes to the unhoused; my mom got me into it and I thought it was fun. At twelve years old I moved to the midwest where I was heavily engaged in sports, but halfway through high school I realized I wasn’t doing anything. I was spending so much of my time playing a stupid game, and I wondered what I was doing. How was I giving back to the community? I decided to drop all my extracurricular activities and spend most of my time after school volunteering. I began to catch a glimpse of the reality of those who surround us. We walk over a lot of people in this world and some of us don’t even notice. When I came to this realization of the ignorance that lies in the minds of the wealthy, I felt an incessant need to write. Recognizing my own privilege in the situation, I had the urge to share truth with others. I hope that from this piece people gather a better understanding of the world that surrounds them. While I found spoken words to be important, the timelessness of words on paper is something I couldn’t ignore.