Diversity in Education by Jonathan Daniel

I can’t feel. I thought
I had reached my limits, but now
little spheres in onyx tones
surround me pulsing,
pulsing in an expanse
of tepid indigo,
orbit me
in a sinister flare
of chattering, whispering —
noisy blue-black.
I float.

I feel my head move—what is
this! The spheres’ whirling utterances
I cannot decipher, and all I know
is that they move
what I thought was unmovable,
my whole self
turns, and somehow
this dusky vortex
drags me
in this direction of
up. And now, I think

I can follow
this whispered vortex.
I recognize yet don’t
understand its meaning
or why its shaded susurrus
sets my skin alight. These whirling spheres
release me, dissipate
into the warm blue. And a Sphere
greater in expanse than those little spheres
seems to beckon me.
I go.

I feel my whole self dragged
by a Sphere
along arcs of fire and electricity
igniting my head, igniting
veins in the contours of my self,
my nerves left branded. And I realize
it is I that orbits.
White fluffs and glowing greens
abound as I emerge from a Sphere’s
gaze and extend
skywards. And now, I think

I can see
something yet more grand and
radiant. This new Sphere — The Sphere
that glows in a sage and
generous brilliance, The Sphere
that engulfs the expanse in its white-gold
tingling, tingling my ears and filling
my head with firelight — thoughts
arise and flood through me
in searing cyan.
I burn.

I feel something melting—what is
this sensation! My arms float freely,
weightlessly, no longer bound
in my shadow. I thought
I had reached my limits, but now
I am launched towards
The Sphere, and now
I am light, I am
released, I am
new, and now

I continue.

illustration by Elizabeth Watkin

Jonathan Daniel. Weird, whimsical, philosophical. Started out as the dorky small-town brown kid who plays classical piano. Now an openly gay, award-winning, multidisciplinary musician and skeptic-humanist academic who explores new sounds, new experiences, and new ideas through music and media.

Elizabeth Watkin is based in Asheville, NC. She dabbles in writing, art-making, and local activism.