Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's My Face

My father thinks I love my black too much
Friends say I'm not black enough
White students told me I was not
like those blacks
Black students wondered
why I lived
the other side of the tracks

My sister put my hair in cornrow
My father yelled, fuck no
A part down the side
That's a respectable boy
Your name is not Troy or LeRoi

They stopped me on the street
to ask which parent was white
LA knew
I must be part Korean or Indian
Paris anointed me
French and even Mongolian
Are you Arab? Muslim?
I thought you were Dominican, says NY
My ex, she said, you know,
you could pass for Puerto Rican

Which part of Africa are you from,
asked the African man who sat
next to me on the train as
we rode through Italy

They're still guessing,
wanting to know

I think there's a Pacific Islander thing about your face
We're intrigued we can't figure out your race
Every possible combination flies out of their mouth

I think you're just a little black, if at all
No, you're just a black boy from the south

They see what they see
And that's okay
They need a box, a bag
A solid check mark on a form

I will tell you this
I walk pridefully
I don't need a sewn on badge
Because I know
I'm a Bago Trini


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