Aug 19

Unfolding (early)

To have your pages open 
in a third grade classroom was 
what I wished for every birthday.

While they filled me with percentages 
of a heritage, 
my history tasted like the fourth page 
of a Google search 

I emptied a silence back 
as if to say 
I don't know what I have lost, 
but I am not certain it isn't myself, 

for them to trace back to a hospital 
while looking at my body, 
             my birthright
like it is uncharted waters,

tell me, is there a lot of sand 
where you come from? 

but I imagine those arid mountains around me 
& their peaks tell me 
I do not belong,
         you do not belong 
is what I hear when that monster
of a question leaps off of their tongues, 
I trap it and 
play cat & mouse, guessing games, 
        like I could fill up my empty features 
with all the things that they saw in me,
they saw in me everything but what I was, 

the birthplace to wounded 
by foreign hands to be important, 
I wonder if their conscience has a built-in protection 
   forbidding their mind to remember 
what they have hurt, 

there are a million 
                 where is that?'s
tattooed onto my skin.
    I am exhausted, 
drained of explaining away my existence
while demanding others to explain it to me, 
tell me, 
have you ever looked in the mirror 
and seen nothing but a mystery?

I knew the words 
deoxyribonucleic acid since the fourth grade, 
      so afraid, 
because even my body could not tell me 
the stories of a people lost on the wind, 
of the curve of a left to right script, 

value increases with a family tree, 
can't you see, 
it started when I opened up the pages of every picture book
none of the faces looking back were mine.