By Aditi Marchan ’23. Art by Alex Park ’23.
You tell me not to fold your culture because
you think I cannot hold my culture in these bleached hands.
You pull the chilies from my mouth because
you think I cannot learn to host your fire in my body.
You tie down my tongue when it flaps the wrong way because
you think it cannot make the right sounds.
But here you are now
adorning me with jewels from your grandmother’s mother
patterning my palms with deep brown history
draping and pleating and tucking till every inch of masquerading skin is hidden, safely, away.
Tell me how I can be of you and be the embodiment of what broke you
tell me how I can love you to destruction while loving the ruins they left us in
tell me how my skin is made of the earth of my home, but
how the inside is washed bare.