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