I Am The Whitest Person You Know

When I look in the mirror I see a girl. I see a girl with my dad’s nose and eyebrows, and my mother’s eyes and olive skin. I see a girl with a Tesoro chin, with my grandmother’s mouth and her accompanying habit of getting her foot stuck in it. According to Michael Kimmel, straight white men are the default from which everyone else deviates, and it is easier to see the deviations than the ubiquitous norm. Despite this, when I look in the mirror, I don’t really see a mixed race girl. I do not see a person of color unless someone reminds me.

I wrote about “feeling white” while not really looking white over at Medium.

10.28.14

Honeyballs or, more poetically (and Italian-ly), “struffoli”

Trying to Outrun The Holidays (Before They Even Start)

Be thin, they say, be
fit (a thing to do, not have.)
                                          (no, never)

But it’s getting dark
so much earlier.

Soon there will be candy, cookies
cake. Mashed potatoes;
baked. Turkeys; cider;
Deedee’s struffoli,
besprinkled in rainbows;
seven-kinds-of-fish.

The sun is sluggish,
it doesn’t want to get up
or out of bed. Still
the alarm is set. It’s getting dark
so early now. The park
in the dark is scary. Bad things
happen to girls in the park
in the dark. But
(you must)
fit, they say. Get up
out of bed and in the dark,
run.

10.24.14

I dreamt of violence
again last night. Trapped inside
an auditorium

of milling, moaning
masses. We were all sick. Doors
locked; men in masks yelled,

capered with guns, laughed
and waved machetes. We coughed
and cried. Quarantined.

The president spoke —
he tried to speak. A coworker,
who is as big as

a brother to me, held
his hand over my eyes;
and the president

died. We were driven
along roads of white sand, palm
trees, an ocean so blue —

so blinding. We were
kids in a yellow bus, sent
to the sea to drown.

I woke, bewildered,
trembling. My dog, small and warm,
sighed.

10.22.14

I woke up after
dreaming of men on horses,
to the sound of rain

through trees. My mother
turned the television on;
light flickering, white,

black, blue. News anchors
spoke of illness, of violence,
and Renee Zellweger,

and I thought, calmly,
but certain and sure:
This is the end of the world.

Then I stood up,
stretched, folded the sheets,
poured coffee.

10.08.14

Spent last night dreaming
that I was someone’s mistress,
their dirty little

secret. That other
woman, perpetually
wanting what’s not mine.

I dream this often.
It’s lonely there, completely,
and naively, wrong.

It’s not like I haven’t
been that girl before. I have.
But I’ve forgotten

just how lonely
she is.

10.06.14

I remember how
each morning in the school yard
Viv C. made me cry.

She saw my pale legs
covered in dark thick hair, while
her legs were hairless.

That “Girls don’t have hair
like that,” distressed me each day,
’til I called her fat.

Then we became friends.
She helped me with algebra
all through middle school.

We liked Pokemon.
We drew invented maps;
we waged imagined wars.

How strange, to befriend
a bully this way: over
our shared discomfort,

in our bodies: the
aching changes, relentless;
the eager growth-pain.

In sixth grade I shaved
my legs with my mom’s razor.
I wore dresses, I learned
to perform.