What Are You, Anyway? ( a poem, of sorts)

They said,
“What are you, anyway?”

I  pretended I didn’t know

What they were talking about.

“I’m me, that’s who.”

(Even though I knew what they were getting at.)

 

“No, but what are you?” They asked,

“You know what I mean.”

I just belong here,” I said, 

In a way, not so specific,

Wanting them to say exactly what they meant.

 

“Okay, what race are you?” they said,

with resignation and emphasis.

“I  just am curious, because I need a label to 

organize you with my things that make sense. 

I’ve got a black and white world;

I don’t see any color now, you see.

Blue, black, polka-dots,

Green orange, and  brown

How, your skin intrigues me.

Because,

you speak English so well…

No accent detected; 

So what are you, anyway?

I’m listening.”

I linger over my thoughts

Should I give what they want?

Or make them suffer because

I won’t box myself up.

Amused at the game,

But tired of the ignorance.

Don’t you know WHAT I am

Isn’t defined by YOUR methods?

Labeling fast and cutting out

a paper doll world,

Dimensions withheld, 

It’s all just fake acceptance.

It’s all just….a warped perspective.

 

This nonsensical conversation,

In the first 5 minutes of meeting;

Identify now so you can assess me,

Up in an ethnic closet you’ll arrange me.

 

“I’m American!”

I  proclaim, just to drag it out.

I’ll help you dig your grave now.

And,  at the end of the day, 

I’ll giggle a bit.

Did I teach a lesson,

Or just waste my breathe?

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