Other

 

At what point can I check the “Other” box,

on all those exams and important docs?

How many microaggressions does it take

to change the image of me, that I did make?

 

“Are you Arabic? Indian? Are you maybe Asian?”

“Are you, perhaps, Muslim?” despite that being a religion.

“Is your daughter that tan all year round?”

“Hablas español, bella?” with a look that says, “You get around.”

 

How many times must I hear that my skin is “exotic”

before I learn my body, the commodity, is something erotic?

When will I answer the, “Where are you from?”s

with what they really want to know, instead of acting dumb?

 

“I was made right here, in a town in the good ol’ U.S. of A.”

And they look at me strange and I wonder at what I didn’t say.

They want to know my background. They want to be privy to my race.

They want details on my religion. They want to match em with my face.

 

I’m afraid that I’m too light to checkmark the “Other”s

because I know I’ve got more privileges than I’ve got bothers.

But I’m dark enough that it apparently matters for some folks to ask,

so I won’t let it go unnoticed and I won’t let it pass.

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