NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 31

Self Portrait 2
What gives you the brown / the sun , same as everyone / no no I mean / I know what you want / where are you from / Utah / no no where are you from / there ’ s a park in American Fork canyon / that ’ s not what I / listen where I used to go and watch rainbow trout hanging above the bottom of the river fold their white sides into plum streaks as they watched my lure float by and by / ok but where are you from / and there were two boys on the first day of junior high / where were they from / listen I was alone in line pleading for one thing familiar and they walked to me and spoke Spanish / what did you do / I let them speak a long time before I told them I don ’ t speak Spanish / wait where are you from / I think from the shame that stained me as they walked away .
Self Portrait 3
What are you doing in a place like this or that ? You should be between this and that .
Here , let me ask , is your grandmother living or dead ? What ’ s the difference if she cooks your meals with you anyway ? Come etch with your finger a line in the sand where the waves wash up . Tell me , what age does your memory blur at the edges ?
Now , are you brown or white ?
28