The Poor’s Envy

No, it’s not that I’m not happy for you.
It’s that I just can’t be happy with you,
And happiness is absent in my reality.
If I can’t feel it in mine, how can I feel it for you?

It’s not that I’m blind to the beauty you’re seeing.
It’s that I despise it because it rarely visits my world.
And whenever it does, it stays just long enough.
Long enough to tease me and amplify my suffering.
Long enough for me to want it, then leaves me wanting.

In my loneliness I spoke to you.
You said, you understand,
Said, loneliness is in your world too.
But I despised you even more.

For the only bridge between your world and mine,
Is accessible only to you.
You can visit my world, but I can’t visit yours.
Your loneliness is a choice, mine is forced on me.
And the people who are with me are busy trying.
Trying to find a way to join you in your world.

You said, stop for once with your whining and hear the beautiful music.
But I can’t hear it over the growling sound of my empty stomach.
You walk in paved roads lined with trees, flowers and butterflies.
While my people and I walk in the desert and the valley of death.

Then, you mock us and called us ignorant.
Because we’re limping and groaning.
You labeled it “bad attitude” and said we’re uneducated.
Told us that’s not the way to walk.
That’s not the way to talk.

Then you romanticized our suffering and oppression.
Said, you sympathize and appreciate our “culture”.
You’ve made our world your personal playground,
Where you can visit at will to play pretend and dress up, Based on your stereotypical view of us.
You played with our primitive tools and said, it’s great to be one with nature and the basics.

When basic is all we have.

Then when you’re tired of playing, you’d run back to your world,
And hang memorabilia that you bought for cheap, when it’s made with the blood and tears of my people.
Then you invite your friends to celebrate and brag about your adventures.
You painted your faces and dressed up with store-bought costumes, mimicking my people.
You called it art, appreciation and whatever makes you feel good.

I don’t know which offends me more,
That you’ve made a mockery of the symbol of our suffering,
OR the cost of your stupid costumes that could have fed my starving family?

Do not mistake my anger, do not mistake my spite.
It’s not that I don’t want you to celebrate.
Nor it’s wrong for you to enjoy what you have.
It’s that you’re flaunting and celebrating,
In front of my suffering family and people.
Couldn’t you tone it down? Or celebrate in private?
Do we really have to see it? Do you really need an audience?

You knew and have seen my people dying of hunger and preventable diseases.
So, you said, aww that’s unfortunate, I’m so sorry.
Then you took a sip of your wine and continued to chew that steak in your mouth.
So, I said go the fuck away, you disgust me!

Then you’ve vilified my emotions, you named it Envy.
You said it was wrong and evil to not be happy for you and appreciate your life’s beauty.
So, I feigned happiness and pretended to see beauty.
I mimicked you’re behavior and spent money so I could look like you.
When I could have used the money to buy food for my family.
I celebrated with you, while my heart grieved for my people.
Then I come home to my reality with an empty stomach and a great deal of hatred for myself.
For deep within me I knew my emotions were neither wrong nor evil.
And yet, you’ve convinced me that they were.

Then alas! The God of misfortune took pity on me and my people.
He brought darkness to your house.
To give you a little taste of what my world is really like.
I rejoiced and celebrated just like how you did,
In the wake of mine and my people’s suffering.

You said it’s sick and called this psychopathy.
And I couldn’t care less what you want to call it.
You can’t guilt me into denying my true emotions anymore.
You’ve been punished for your apathy.
So, excuse me for savoring sweet justice, I just have to.
For in my life, I have only known bitterness and suffering.

You’re feeling down and all your “friends” have left you.
Even the beauty that surrounds you,
Could not fill the hole that the God of misfortune placed in your heart.

Then came a wise Man, He felt your loneliness.
Told you to leave beauty’s comfort behind and follow Him to live in my world.
He promised to show you True Beauty that’s not like anything you’ve seen before.
But you laughed at Him and called Him a fraud.
For you knew my world is filled with ugliness, darkness and suffering.
Then, again you mocked me and my people.
You called us gullible and ignorant.
Because we believed in the wise Man, who gave us hope and ways to cope.

Then the Beauty that you know patted your back. Said, you made the right choice.
Then with a smile on her face, she locked you in your golden cage.

The end.

(Written sometime in the year 2001 before 9/11)