The Brown One

I disconnect and wonder
as my family toss around the slur Paki
Do they think in shades, see my brown skin too?
Can they see the melanin I’m only now learning to love?
How can the Asian blood in my sister be so easily forgotten?
Are her genetics considered only alongside her tanning abilities?
The racism dripping from my white family’s tongue
serves as a reminder of my own sanctioned place
It’s a particular type of privileged poison
that allows me into this white folk’s flock
It seeps from smiles and grants
me security in the blind spot
I’m here because
the ultimate 90’s accessory was a brown baby
I’m here because the tentative fingered faltering
black boy could not resist what he was taught to avoid
Unaccompanied I grieve for that which I haven’t actually lost,
envisioning enslaved ancestors grinding teeth, shaking heads.
I’m forced to wonder if they would have owned me too
As the history in my blood murmurs at the word Paki