Brown (a poem)

They say to me,

“You’re not really brown, you know.”
Or,  “I thought you were White.” and
“Oh, well you don’t look
(insert: Latino, Spanish, Jewish, Arab, Middle-Eastern, BROWN.)

I know what my skin looks like:
café au lait, with too much lait

Brown isn’t a skin colour,
Brown is an experience

Brown is being told
To speak English

Brown is being called a terrorist on the train
When someone confuses your yarmulke with a kufi

Brown is people mispronouncing your name
Every fucking day

Brown is being afraid security is gonna be called
 When you’re browsing the aisles

Brown is being told to go back to where you came from,
When your apartment is just a block away

Brown is being assaulted in public,
With everybody watching

Brown is being scared of walking alone at night,
Of airports, the police, your own neighbours

Brown is being told
Your experience doesn’t matter

Brown is an experience.
I am brown.

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