Somebody once asked me, “What’s it like being black in New Mexico?” Well it’s no field trip that’s for sure.
I told them it’s like being on a vacation that’s lasted too long.
Like being a old car in a new car lot.
The only real tree amongst the tumble weeds.
Like polka dots of yellow snow if it even manages to settle in New Mexico.
I mean it’s no secret I’m not from here.
It’s not hidden in the sand that I’m black either.
I mean if you can’t see that then you’re blinder than Helen Keller.
I know sometimes it’s called into question cause I don’t fit all the lil black girl expectations. A big lip, butt, and boobs to match a ghetto accent.
Not to mention the ratchet short hair that we cover up with cheap weaves to compensate for the love deprivation from the father that’s locked up doing ten years.
I’m sorry I don’t fit your stereotypes.
It’s not easy hiding here.
I mean I could lay flat in the dead, staple like grass, but then I’d get stickers in my face.
But that still wouldn’t hurt as much as the jokes, double takes, and dissatisfied stares I get for not adding up to their desires.
I put up a pretty good façade that I got it all together like a jigsaw puzzle.
And confident in who I am.
I’d proudly raise my fist to the air in the midst of my people.
But what about when I stand alone?
Will I stand high and mighty, unashamed of being a minority?
Nah, I’ll probably crouch lower than a grandma with a bad back hoping to keep unnoticed.
Scared that there may be a Velma and Freddy in the crowd waiting to unmask my insecurities to the world around me.
I’m not saying that I scrub the black off my skin at night or pray that I was lighter.
I’m saying that I pray to God that he give me the courage to stand proud alone
Or with the minuscule brothers and sisters that dare inhabit this state.
Never thought I’d end up in the South.
I was taught to be proud of who I am.
What I am.
Where I’m from.
I was taught that skin color doesn’t matter.
It’s just colors mixed on a pallet and painted on my bones.
Well then can I be a rainbow?
Because then at least I won’t have to choose how I want to act for the day.
Hide behind fake laughs to the racist jokes racist jokes my friends throw around in class.
I used to try to blame the comments on New Mexico.
Say the desert did this to me.
Then I realized, this is just high school.
I gotta suck it up right?
Just hand me a straw.
Walk with my head hung low and only speak when I’m spoken to.
Because I’m just a black girl strolling the streets in a state where she feels she does not belong.
Waiting for the day she can feel at home again.