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Hidden in My Drawer
At times when the world seems too large
and my heart beats too quickly,
I let myself drown in the silence
of a pulse that feels like a pop song.
Sometimes I wish that
I was like the other kids.
so clear, so easy:
just a box to check.
They see it as a label
that doesn’t change or move.
Their whole existence looks like
a package tied up with a bow.
My mom’s family is from Western Europe.
My dad’s family is a mystery to me.
But in America, I don’t know who I am
because to some, I am not white.
My skin might be the same color as them
but perhaps they think of my genes.
Genes from my ancestors who built futures
and made their own bridges,
even when other people tried to burn them down.
“Check Yes Or No”
George Strait sings.
But how do I know who I am
when the world tries to define me?
How am I supposed to act when the world paints my religion
as a race that “rules the world?”
Who do I become when I won’t wear the
six-pointed star earrings that my grandma gave me?
And how do I react
when I am told
“You don’t look Jewish!”
Because in America
Our looks are the books that others judge us on.
And my identity is the earrings hidden in my drawer.