Too Light, Too Dark


Too light to be black, too dark to be white. One a minority, one a majority. Melanin equals misunderstood, misheard, mismatched, misshapen, me. I claw at my flesh, and the ragged grooves bleed red like yours. One in the same, flesh, blood, bone, brain, laughter, crying, depression, pain. I feel you, but you only see me with eyes too used to taking their safety for granted that the irises are unable to penetrate my high walls. Keep your guard up, lay your hands down. Put your hands up! Freeze! Don’t move! Now you must let your guard down. Let them penetrate your walls, cuff your hands, throw your body down, snuff out your breath. And while I lay there, I feel you, but you only see me. You don’t feel my pain. You watch it kill me. Too light to blend into that pavement and hide from the barrel of the gun. Too dark to be seen for me.
My persona is guarded, shut behind the high wall I built at seven. There is a cold darkness behind the cool steel. Still too light to absorb any warmth; too dark to see any other shadows but mine. That dark, shifting shape is latched to my heels, a constant reminder that I place myself in my own chains, tie myself down, bind myself to the guilt that my skin either earns me racism or pity. I am bound to my shadow, by emotionless half with no distinct features other than its dark shade. This is how society views me; a person of color with no other distinct features but my blackness. Too light to show you the hood. Too dark to wear the preppy teenage clothes, Stereotypes to weak baggy sweatpants and oversized hoodies, to be a drug addict, a dealer, a violent offender, an incarcerated prisoner. Raised in an oblivious town; ignorance is worn like a leash and white supremacy is the handler. Reverse evolution; tainted tongues is a generational defect. Ignorance, a discomfort that can be easily diagnosed but not so easily cured. Those devilish tongues whisper and lick around my ears, poisoning my thoughts, penetrating my calm. In a state residing on layers of generations, racism is a sedimentary curse. It lies below the land, its low shallow hum resonating with some people and disrupting others. The dark energy erupts from time to time, swallowing a person from the soles of their bare feet up to their scalps. It’s an evil so normalized it may hide in plain sight. Too light to receive the title “Murderer”, too dark to remain incognito forever. Too light to be black, too dark to be white.

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