I might be out of order,
or even shouted down, but
are we not reducing the
human with our cultural knives
till there’s nothing left but
dry bones bleached in the
awful glare of distant light?

Is a human just a culture?
A colour?
A geography?
A language?
A gender?
An ability or disability?
A system of belief?
A creed?
Any sectionality carved out
like a cut of bloodless meat
cold on a wooden block?

What do I see in front of me?
A human skinless in needs,
in desires, in fears and in a wish
to find a sacred space to be
beyond mere flesh and bone.

I see a rising chest and tears and smiles
and dreams of what might be that
I too feel in my skin that I bring with me
to encounter this person alone who
offers the warmth of their tender being
to create our authentic one on one..

for Martin Buber