What Are You?

What are you?
Ninety-five percent of the time this is the first question that slips from between those unfamiliar lips framed by that unfamiliar face.
What are you?
What do you mean, what am I?
I am a human, like you too I presume
Unless…
Oh but, that’s not what you meant right?
Your twisted brain with your confused sense of what it means to be different and what it looks like to be the same.
It asks me “what are you?” like I am the result of a specimen sent from an alternate universe
But no I am not; I am a human just like you
And then, there it comes again
To you it’s just the soft whisper of the wind but to me no
To me it is the rumble of an impending thunderstorm threatening to sweep me off my feet and strip me of all that I am,
Leaving me only with what you think I ought to be.
The question comes loud and clear
Where am I from?
With my exotic hair and my mysterious complexion, darker than the translucency of paper pale skin
I am from Boston.
I know, not what you were looking for either, right?
I didn’t think so, but then
Maybe you should start looking for the truth
Where are my parents from? New York.
I know, I know all the wrong answers.
Well tell me please, what are the right ones?
Because I say, you’re just asking all the wrong questions.
And so you ask again, “Where am I from, really?”
And again I say Boston, though my roots run deep throughout the lands in every corner of this world, because I refuse to conform to the answers you want me to give.

Stop.

Stop assessing the unknown.
Stop making assumptions.
Stop thinking my skin says it all.

I
I am not defined by my soft caramel complexion.
I am not a product of my sweet molasses tones.

I am not my skin.

My skin is just a part of me.

*Written 12/14/12*

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