Melanin

To you my skin reveals an abomination to society.
To you my skin reveals a memory of what history tries to erase.
To you my skin reflects your forefather’s wrongdoings.

To me my skin tells a journey.
An exquisite tragedy that shows …
The scars and wound on my back,
The blister that burn my feet,
And the cuts and bruises on my arms.

To me my skin tells a story.
A challenging and tough journey that …
Tells that I will die young,
Unjustified and tragic.
I would die under my light,
The bright light that shines above me that might set me free,
Or dim and leave me in bondage with chains rusting on my wrists and ankles.
In the midnight hour as the black doves and white crows surround me.

My skin glows in radiance and brilliance.
My skin shows my tears and darkest fears.
My skin shows my pain and pushed prejudice.
My skin shows my courage and strength.
My skin shows my heroes and idols!

But …
My skin doesn’t showcase a thug living in poverty.
My complexion doesn’t showcase an uneducated man trapped in the world of drugs.
My melanin doesn’t showcase a masculine man surrounded by guns and gangs.

At last, as I sleep tonight,
Like my ancestors, in a row I put my prayers.
I wish that only my skin,
My beautiful brown melanin,
Doesn’t show my fate.

 

by Grant Loveless

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Eileen Wu