They told me I had bronze skin when I was born
The kind that Egyptian Gods wore
The kind they’d call exotic
And gradually the kind that bore pointed fingers and scrutinising eyes;
It started speaking from pulpits
And parliament houses
But mostly through padlocked bars
I became a symbol
frozen in colour
a rudimentary mass of umber.
Tinctures of brown became definitions
But slowly, they said
This brown changed colour-
Began to look like the child of sunshine and rain
And I was awash in iridescence
And pending acceptance:
Canvased in statement umbrellas
Embossed in aberrations
Framed in exclusionary months of ‘Pride’
that systematically disregard the word’s usage in the present tense.
I thought I was born with skin bathed only in blood
I thought so was everyone.