20160916_103101~2Thinking you know your composite
banoffee pie or key lime
little kids crowd the glass of new American themed
diners in foreign land selling to idolizer
thinking themselves fancy if they sit
on high swivel seats in dark cherry
just like Rumblefish though you
could never afford the real thing
I liked an American boy in my class
he made baseball jackets with patches of indian profiles look good
had green eyes that held the secret of the desert
a mouth as pretty as a girl’s curling up in O
he couldn’t spell his new language
which I found, reassuring
to be far-flung
exotic comes in all guises
mine the continent of dreams
we drank our first root beer float with
long-necked spoons reflecting our mirth
talking about juke boxes and 50s matinée idols
the green-eyed boy said
you will be disappointed at the reality
and they will be underwhelmed with you
too pale for the California beach
too shy for new York
too weak for the vigor of ice hockey
and alpha females pick on each other in our high schools with growing
you have no native American blood alas
you don’t feel white-guilt for slavery when your ancestors took no part
you’ll never be an American you don’t wave a flag at our glory
we have to compete and win whilst you prefer to scale a tree and read
hearing the roar of the crowd on friday night’s lights
you’d have made a lack luster cheerleader with
your neon arms and matchstick legs
but oddly and despite this
it was my destination to earn a golden ticket
ever since I read in translation
The lonely little girl in a big new York hotel
with Skipper the pet turtle on a leash
may have had native American DNA and grown up to be a good WASP
I only wanted to touch
the soft leather sleeves of a spectator coat
or see
Peanuts, in action as
box-cars raced down hill, stopping at soda fountains
those glittering children of fortune and freckles
back then I thought I was genetically
someone different
then DNA testing became mainstream
and by the story of my results I am no longer that person
but someone quite changed, a different race
as if the me who was me
slipped out of herself and through a door
that was both opened and closed
walk like an Egyptian I used to
speak diluent tones with French notes once
now the I of me is false and those
parodies of what I was, are not who I am
telling kids in the playground that’s why my eyes prefer kohl
they come from faraway where the sun demands
old stories without substance
revealed stark in test tube result to be
not a pale African lost in tamed jungle of cruel world enveloping cultures
instead, the trespasser told generational falsehoods
paving yellow brick roads with fool’s gold
as saffron and tamarind friends with their rightful legacies
twirl in blazing color
silken sari and Rastafari, Persian eyes, Nairobi fingers
everything told was not so
ordinary and dull was your fear
so it becomes real
and what life bequeathed you
the DNA of inconsequence
a tendency toward left-handedness
an albino arm and dark heart
the emptiness of knowing
staged and girdled
for light fantastic
oh how it feels on your lying skin
like submerging into ancient lily ponds
reflecting bronze moons glow
into a hundred cupolas
you want to believe someone will love you irrespective
of your mitral valve weakness, your keratitis and first varicose
just like that boy who
seeing you hobbling in your veruca sock and bad haircut
when your father ran out of patience and cut along pancake bowl
just like that boy who
swam straight for you
sitting over the murmuring jets in the shallow end holding hands
until he left with his parents
staring out the back of a messy car with two dogs slobbering
and a peace sign pealing off the bumper
watching you diminish in rear view
as if you were the most precious saphir he ever knew
and just for a moment you felt
like all the lies in the world could not subsume
the radiance of being adored
for the truth of you