As We Become the Other

“As We Become the Other” - Octavia Butler

American Science Fiction Writer


Who has the right to say what’s human,

To decide what shape and form makes you of mankind.

The number of toes and fingers.

One head, two legs, two eyes.

Flat bottom, or big and round?

Big lips or paper thin?

Dark Skin or Light?

Kinky hair or straight?

What bits and pieces are worthy of a man to make?

And just how far can you step out of this alignment,

And still be given your human assignment.

An extra toe, a crumbled arm, a limp?

A damaged spine?

Praying to a different God?

Or just stepping over a border?

We shape-shift those different than us into the enemy.

And as we become the other,

in this Xenophobic dance towards self-destruction.

We step on our collective evolution

and crumble our futures into dust.

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