Poem -

I am more

I am more

I am brown and my own culture tells me that having light skin and eyes are the only way for me to be loved.

I am brown, streaked in melanin and dotted with furry body hair.

I am brown and I learned at a young age that the lessons on equality in grade school were only a safety blanket against the real world.

I am brown and I never wanted to be. My cocoa skin and raven hair is frowned upon, the unwanted mien of a white-washed nation

I am brown and my motherland shuns me. Merry, light girls are admired; their pupils are studded emeralds and their pale skin scintillates

I am brown and I am aware of it with every visit to my native land. Advertisements feature models of caked powder, their clear skin putting me to shame

I am brown and my classmates eye me in scorn, suggesting scrubs and bleach creams to rid me of the tone I was born with

I am brown and I tell myself that I can change, be light- pretty- if I just wear sweaters, drink fruit juice and scrub my body with citrus

I am brown but cut through my skin and I’ll burst of stars and hope. My heart holds wisps of dreams that you can lace through your hands and my veins will bleed of crimson love

I am brown and I am more than this layer that drapes my body
 

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author
Faith.Z

Krithika this is beautiful. I've edited my comment because after reading this a few times I've realized that you may still have hesitations about your own beauty due to the color of your skin. I hope that the same way you've learned to embrace the beauty of what's underneath,  that you will also learn to love and embrace your "outer" layer as it is the way it was meant to be and that its beautiful as it is. Sorry for the long comment, but this poem resonates with me because I've seen this way if thinking from within my own community as well. As a little girl when ever I would ask my father if the dress/clothes I was wearing made me look pretty, he would always reply with "the dress didn't make you pretty, YOU made the dress look pretty" 

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author
Nina Samson

Krithika - This is a beautiful poem and I love the way you worded it!

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