All in the Eyes

For a child, you could see the weight of the world in his eyes. Even at his young age, he’s seen how the world works. How things like kindness and humanity are dropped for a dime. How people who don’t deserve the world’s hate have all eyes on them as they go about their daily lives. He’s seen too much, for such a young boy. There’s little hope left in those eyes. Little to smile about.

Most of his village believes cameras steal their souls. Perhaps that’s what happened, over time. Cameras stole souls little by little. Images left behind pieces of who a person could have been, given hope and a little kindness. But kindness is banished now, left behind on slips of glossy paper in brighter colors than you’ll find on any ordinary day.

In his eyes you see the reflections of the daily race of war. You see the clouds of dust bombs leave behind. The bloodiest bodies, dropped where they were hit and never moved. The outlines of a daily life that once included laughter, but now only include tears. The worn coffins, large and tinier than you’d ever want to see. All that shows in his eyes. In his hard set mouth. In the lone tear growing in the corner of his eye.

But he’s different than the rest of the village. He let them take his photo, but only if they took it in black and white. That way, they’d take his sadness, and leave his colors alone.

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