ma’s hands run through thick black keratin,
each stroke bleeding coconut oil for my
parched scalp to sip. i listen to the beautiful
melody of ma’s country, rhythms born from
cracked sugarcane & turmeric paste, tunes
beaten out of hollow wood & fractured
fingers, & words hurled as tongues strike soft
teeth. marathi letters drip like molasses from my
parents’ lips, but broken marathi consonants crumble
from mine. i glance at their product in a shattered
[brown girl can’t speak brown words?]
i’ve taken a beautiful culture and dirtied it in
my palms. tears tumble from long eyelashes, each
drop stained mahogany from cacao eyes. each
utterance another disgrace to my lineage. yellow
t-shirt & jean shorts expose skin. each seam
is stitched to epidermis & tugging thread dyes
fingernails scarlet. wearing brown flesh like a
deer hide, there is a different girl underneath.
her blood runs red like ma and pa, her skin a
rustic blend of earthen hues like ma and pa.
but her brain runs blue
& bleeds of society’s anesthesia.
Suhanee is a seventeen-year-old living in Massachusetts. She has a strong passion for writing and dancing. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog and cat, as well as laughing with her sister.