I had suppressed the knowledge of my mother tongue,
insisting that it just never “clicked”.
I refused to speak my last name with the Spanish flair that rolled off the tongues of my cousins.

I was different from the blue eyed, blonde haired children around me.
I loathed the way my dark skin stood out amongst my pale friends,
and the drowning feeling that I was somehow an imposter.
Maybe I was.

I couldn’t let them see through the act though,
Or the sight of the severed pig head cooking on the stove at Christmas.
Not even the smell of comino that I covered with perfume.
I was ready to finally feel like I belonged somewhere.

But a “coconut” is what they called me.
Brown on the outside, white on the inside.
I know I’m a coconut,
An empty shell lacking identity.

I still long to be accepted into a high class world that does not want me,
and fail to be accepted in the place I am already marginalized in.
But hey, eso es lo que le pasa a los cocos.

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