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
My dear white boy,
I am not "exotic,"
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,
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
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.
I 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