Mulatta

By Alyssa Shanderson


Dip-dyed color swirled on a drop cloth
Mixed to blend Virgin sands and Celtic bands
It is a perfect contrast of green and blue
Orange and White, the light color of your
Otherwise black hair confuses some
And repulses others

Relations called you Mulatto
A word you don’t know, but found
Tainted, half-bred, dirty-blooded
Glass half full, but with a slight discoloration
Flint, not worthy or clean
They joke and intend to let you know
That only half of you is important

Speaking eloquently, they are glad
You have your mother’s genes
And not your father’s outspoken righteousness
A blessing to have such beautiful skin
But a hassle to have such difficult hair
You wish you had the words to scream
But instead a smirk crowns and walking away
Seems easier than being branded 

Called exotic by men twice your age
It smacks you, they mean
You look different, so you're lucky I find you attractive
And you’d rather die than turn and respond
Because at the end of the day you know that
Your color affords you the privilege to wear a hoodie
Or drive a car, speak out against injustice,
So you feel guilty and keep walking. 

One day you will wake up and realize that
Your stock isn’t as good in the eyes of some
That one day there will be less of a reason to be angry
But the only thing you can do is wait for that day
That your tangled hair and botched accent and full lips
Are enough for your own flesh and blood