Poetry Writer

When My Black Face Was Not My Own

It’s a sad
excuse
Nevertheless,
the truth. 

I used to be
someone
so desperate
for identity
I clawed for it
wherever I could

I was so
blinded 
by a desire,
to be 
different 
and
“Creative”

I once thought
to myself:
How novel
it would be
to dress up like
a Nubian Queen
with her 
indentured Slave

And I didn’t 
stop there
(Dear God,
I wish I had.)

No, I laughed
and thought: 
Oh, how clever!
Oh, how inventive!

Why, if he is
my slave
his skin
can’t be
White
that wouldn’t 
be 
quite right…

No, no man
paint it Black!
Let your skin
play at
having
Melanin

And we 
laughed
at how
wonderfully
quick we 
had been
(My deepest sin.)

And we posed
and took photos
to show
everyone
just how
marvellously
hilarious we
had been
(My deepest sin.)

To not know
any better
was true
for that time
in my life
surrounded by
a sea of
WhiteFaces
WhiteStories
WhiteThinking
not wrong
necessarily 
but certainly 
not me
after all

How I pity
(and writhe, 
and gnash 
my teeth,
and weep)
to have been
a part of
that act

I was a 
Knowing Participant
I was an
Instigator
(Oh God, 
I swear—
I didn’t know!)

That was 
my sad attempt
to find a piece
of who I was 
and see if it
would be 
accepted
Too bad…
it was—

Please 
believe me 
when I say
I really didn’t
know then
what I know
now

It’s a sad 
excuse
Nevertheless, 
the truth.

Hello all. I am a full-time writer who is constantly discovering her voice. I write poetry, personal narratives and short stories. I'm always open to reaching and connecting with new readers, so leave me a comment or question. Let's start a dialogue! Don't forget to follow me here, on my Twitter/Instagram (@exisflor) and YouTube Channel (Alexis Attempts to Write).

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