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Jun 09
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Chameleon

Chameleon

By: Kiran Waqar and Hawa Adam

Hi
K: We are color changing machines
H: Our survival is camouflage
We have to adapt
K: I don’t mean to brag but if there was an award for best-assimilator, I think I would win
Actually, no, we would win
H: We are the queens of chameleons, the rulers of all
K: We have so many different layers we don’t even know who we are
H: Who we are
K: Who we are
Who we are
H: Layer #1: The epidermis, its use: Protection
protecting us from ignorant predators
K: Your skin is too dark for the playground
silent objections
and isolating stares
But it is not a shell
It cannot hide us
It cannot keep us safe

K: So we develop thick skin so no one can ever see us
So no one can ever know us
Including ourselves
K: Layer #2: The chromatophore
The layer which contains yellow and red pigments
Yellow for the sun,
A blazing fire that my skin can handle, was born to handle
Red for the blood my eyes have always witnessed
H: My big eyes
They move independently, but always seem to work together
They are always aware
Looking in all directions
Traditional and contemporary
K: Looking, searching, examining
Who will I be today? Who will I try to please today?
Whose name will my sticky tongue try to grasp next?
H: Layer #3: Our melanophore layer,
The carrier of darkness
Melanin
coding for the brown and blacks
We use it when we’re around our darker surroundings
Hiding away so no one knows we’re here
In our lighter surroundings we use
K: Layer: #4: the nether layer, which only reflects
white.
We will never be white
Only pretend to be

We hide behind fake mirrors and lies, unsure of who we really are
H: Am I African American or the other way around?
K: Pakistani first? American?
Tears roll down our face
H: Droplets form a perfectly-curved rainbow
Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Purple
Which one am I?

K: Which one are we?
H: Maybe we are a mix
K: Maybe we are many
H: A combination of colors never heard before
*pause*
Maybe we are one

Photo: http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/chameleon

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Kiran Waqar
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