Lantern Review | Issue 6

Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut

in the town of colorblind

everyone knew each other by scent, or by sound, since

everyone was legally blind. Last night, I had a dream, the mother would say, and their father would finish, and then we woke up. Sarcasm was necessary for survival, since no one could see. When times were good, they had plenty to eat, and never enough to complain about, oh, it’s just a colorblind problem, the old-timers would say, they know nothing of real suffering. And then the stories would begin, always about a time during perpetual war, or the preoccupation with large, blue eyes and pale, yellow hair—back then, people thought it was beautiful, to look the same—imagine that! the young girls tittered, imagine all the hours spent in front of a mirror! “but the real curse,” the old prophet leaned in closer, “was the darker your skin, the harder you lived—open your eyes and just imagine if you were like a shadow, a half-being without a scent or sound, a ghost haunting the living, even though you yourself are living. Imagine you lived in exile, always mistaken for something else.” No one wanted to open their eyes. Last night, I had a dream, they would say.