The Color Line This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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It's okay, they said
as if it were a sorry mistake Mother Nature had at the canvas
sculpting, painting in perfection, until the final layer
revealed not peach but mustard yellow.

It's okay, they said like forgiveness
like I had been born with two Original Sins
as opposed to their one
the mustard-yellow veil covering my body
cracked, twisted, suffocated by the words in their mouths.

It's not your fault, they said
that my mother tongue
the words
the sounds
that rocked me to sleep when I was born
sound like birds talking with hard stones in their mouths
sound like mustard pans falling from the sky,
hitting the hard, white asphalt they laid down.

It isn't my fault
that you cannot see substance beneath the final layer of paint
to see
Gold underneath the veil that you created.
Too deafened by the imaginary pans to hear canaries
Too ignorant to erase the lines you drew on your white asphalt
The line that divides
Me
You
is imaginary mustard yellow.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

JoanK said...
Aug. 21, 2011 at 8:40 am
I have an adopted daughter of African descent who is also growing up among mainly white people. Your insight is very valuable. I try to help her to feel proud of what she is (she truly is very beautiful) but she hates the fact that she stands out from the crowd.
 
Zero_K This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 15, 2009 at 5:13 pm
Absolutely beautiful. Absolutely true. 'Tis awesomeness, no less. And I don't say that alot.
-Blessed Be, and may your path be bright!
+++ZERO+++
 
ylimesdrawde said...
Nov. 1, 2009 at 8:54 pm
that poem is so complex yet so simple at the same time! i love the way it flowed and how it expressed so many feelings. love it :D
 
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