My skin is not a signature;
it does not lend credence to your beliefs
or authorisation to your prejudice.
It is not an invitation for comments
during your ‘delineated’ dinner party conversations.
My skin has feelings –
emotions that surpass your reductionist views
of what it means to carry the weight of this pigment.
The world judges, mocks, and stares,
and the second my face shows evidence of despair,
I am indignant?
But why? Because the fault is more yours than mine.
and I wonder at times if in some other world we were both lions,
and we crossed paths would you declare you were of a separate superior breed?
Would you claim your mane was more lustrous than mine as you proceed –
with fangs drawn from their sheath –
Would you start biting at my hind?
Would you muster up your pride and attack a sole island?
And of that, I have no doubt.
Because our minority reports are evidence of your violence.
Although we still fight for equality,
we do not fight for your whiteness.
With melanin, so rich, embedded in our skin,
we have no desire for your lightness.