The Mixed

Too dark
Too light
Too in between
Too bright
Too rosy
Too peach–

Just too much
Or not enough at all.
This has always been my plight.

I am African-American
But not black enough .
I am Native American
But not red enough.
I am Latina
But not brown enough.

Just mixed enough for most
To assume whiteness of me,
Sparking comments about a whitey master
in the woodpile of my ancestors.

In this ocean of the mixed
There’s affinity
But no belonging
As I reach for a new shade of blush
That is just close enough.

Knowing

Rewind the archives of a past
Find little worth remembrance

And now, only hours,
Removed from your side,
I could close my eyes,
Reach out my hand,
Trace each line and curve,
Comprising your grace,
Feel each rise of breath
And sleeping sigh
Leaving your chest
Resting against my back
And all my hard, squared off edges
Become like wax,
Softening and melting away,

Knowing,
For once, in all my years,
Knowing.

History

history image

Spun out from the centrifuge
Twisted in helix meaning
Strands entwined, twisted back
Stretching toward history within heritage
Search through the montage of time
Sift through pounds of truth and lies
For a few ounces of purity
Measured out within the mess
The now was the past
Where to walk
We travel back
On twisted helix roads
To the selves we were
So very long ago
And learn
The future braided
In the past
With the now
And made us whole

Miles

 

Miles traveled
watching fingers of wind
comb through long grasses by the roadside–
as your fingers have combed through my hair–
the heads of the blue bonnets and paintbrushes
all seem to bow, nodding toward the north,
toward you, toward home
the wheels turn faster down the highway
I have been gone too long,
far too long from home.