Sometimes I Wish I Could Leave my Skin at Home


Sometimes I wish I could leave my skin at home.

I would leave the racial slurs and black jokes

like a coat and scarf on an unusually warm winter day.

I would walk around,

pink muscles showing, blood flowing through my veins,

Just like everyone else's.


I wouldn't once be reminded of my color,

I wouldn't have to ignore the kids who call each other "nigga" like it's some kind of nickname.

I silently seethe.

Cursing myself for not saying anything,

while simultaneously fighting the urge to call them every curse word and demeaning name in my vocabulary.


Sometimes I wish I could leave my skin at home.

So I wouldn't have to hear the

boys on my bus giggling at a guy whispering "they hang from trees"

My people did not hang from trees carelessly like primates.

No. They were hung from trees.

Left to be discovered by an unsuspecting family member.


Just for one day, I could pretend there was no racism

and those jokes that aren't funny at all,

that ruin my perfectly good day,

didn't exist.

 

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