dear white boy

Dear white boy,

I was taught Pocahontas was a traitor to her tribe.

I was never supposed to make a role model

out of a woman who abandoned

the rhythm of her father’s drum circle

in the wake of the taste

of tobacco on a white man's mouth.

And they said Esmeralda was a temptress:

thick curls and thicker thighs

that danced so irresistibly the earth moved with her

and the moon stood at attention.

She deserved to be burned

for making white men stoop so low

because she was absolutely breathtaking --

emerald and caramel an intoxicating combination.

At age 7, I learned that I would never be breathtaking

because my eyes aren’t green.

Instead I am a laundry list


"brown, brown, brown,"

a monochrome sequence

of different shades of unworthiness.

For although Esmeralda had European eyes,

the darkness of her skin tainted
the pure hearts 
of every man who lusted
after her.

My dear white boy,

I am not "exotic,"

or "wild,"

or "spicy."

I cannot tell you how often

I wished my hips would not bear fruit;

that my body would

instead lie straight

and disappear completely.

I learned that white men

like John Smith,
like you,

would forget my soul

does not rest in the contour of my shape

but in the muddy puddles of my eyes,

tainted with the blood spilled

by invaders

who looked like you,

smelled like you,

tasted like you,

'cause darling, when you go,

your cigarette fingers leave traces of tobacco on my tongue.

was told I had no place

in the case

full of things to proud of,

that plastic porn stars

and bottle blondes

were the only ones worth putting on display,

so when you smile and call me beautiful -- 

I can't help but wonder what contraband thrill you’re seeking.

I question whether my lips to yours taste like rebellion.

Maybe the thrill is what you find intoxicating,

not my eyes--

nothing can be found there.

They are not gems worth depicting in vivid detail

from timeless artists gone by.

My dear white boy,

I cannot fathom why you get lost in my eyes

the same way the moon does.

but I selfishly hope you won’t find your way out.

Dear White Boy was performed by Marisa Adame at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in Richmond, VA.
© 2015 by Marisa Adame