The Black Napkin Volume 1 Issue 3 - Page 37


black bleach

by Demetrius Burns

I find it offensive when white girls whisper

in my ear that my skin is beautiful as they claim

reverse discrimination on my character, which pushes

daisies to allow my brown skin amnesty

I hear my mother pulling

me towards Edgar Allen Poe and raven

colored girls because growing

up in Oakland, ghetto birds outnumbered white swans.

My white mom calls our family’s predilection

for white skin the Burns curse.

This lust for white flesh has cost

our family some real cartilage.

A lust 2/5th of us don’t deserve, I’m 3/5th the man.

My dad and I have bleached our talk,

walk and clothes to appeal to white culture.

Someone once told me that bleach cured

A.I.D.S. but had a small side effect: death

We swallowed the bleach to increase our incremental value—

A value that will never be considered a whole number.

The value will always remain a decimal –

change to the dollar

The eye on the pyramid is always looking down on us.

We swallow bleach only to prove

We are more and end up doing the reverse.

I am bleached high yellow

Whose skin is stained with self-loathing

A Skin that others bled for

A Skin that others bleed for

A Skin that others children get shot for

A skin that my child might get shot for

Don't whisper in my ear that you love my skin.

Your kisses on my neck leave bleach marks.