Wetback, terrorist, mutt.
Gypsy, Татарка (Tatarka), Czarna (Charna).
Too light, too dark, too little.
Depending on where you seek to go,
the names will shift to match perception.
Render me your Jasmine, your Esmerelda
or, if you like I’ll be your Pocahontas,
but that’s just for the good days
when the shades of dark give you a taste of something
that’s just exotic enough…but not too foreign.
Tomorrow, though, I’ll be a fake,
skin too white to be authentic, eyes and hair
too dark to join the “civilized”
and it’ll make you feel good to castigate me
onto the impure, the ones that don’t belong here.
Don’t belong with you or yours.
You’ll wave a flag that’s made you feel
strong and forget what made you good.
When sitting up high upon a hill
it’s easy to forget what’s down below.
So far removed from where you’re from,
so easy to forget what makes us human.
Because we are the same,
and when features fail to match your
expectations, or when accent reveals geography,
don’t simplify anyone into a fantasy,
a nightmare, or your justification
for supporting xenophobia.
There is no such thing as pure,
nor groups of good or bad.
So when you judge another, take into
account the nature of their mind and their
heart- don’t shrink the world into 2-D.
I am not your Jasmine, your
Esmerelda, or your Pocahontas-
for those are fantasies, drawn to animation,
by the same who define me and mine as
terrorists, wetbacks or wannabes.