Becoming Brown

I only became brown when I set foot on American soil. When sun rays turned to race filtering my every image. I became a woman of color when all my life I’d been a woman of colors. Blue, earth, and silver in the night. I used to exhume a spectrum of shades unnameable. Untraceable. Nomadic gestures passing like wind between my fingers. April breeze making my feet dance (you can’t stand the thought of a self-inflicted romance). You can’t stand to think that maybe I exist at elevation levels beyond your reach.

And still I am alien. I am “foreign”. I am “exotic”. No. I am brown like sunloved hands making clay bodies out of mud and water. I am brown like polluted sky featuring mermaid gold shimmer. Today the girl with different colored nails asked me if I speak Egyptian. This time I smile politely. This time I swallow. Cherry blossom festival in two weeks. I wonder what color I am in the spring.


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