by The Trouble Is...
I’ve never fit.
Little black girls in small Maine towns never do. Little black girls with white parents in small Maine towns are just confused. And little black girls with mental illnesses and white parents in small Maine towns are very confused.
I still don’t know my first mother, but I would like to. I know she has mental illness, like I do. I know I have a sister. I’d like to know them very much. I feel lost, drifting. It doesn’t matter how much the polar bear loves the panda cub, the panda cub will still never be a polar bear, even if she tries to bleach away her blackness.
I wished for that a lot as a child, you know. That I could be white, be pretty. I’d have long straight hair and small delicate nose. I wouldn’t look like a monster and maybe I wouldn’t act like such a monster either.
I was always very angry, or very sad, but that’s just how black people are, that’s what they’d say. People like me are just angry and violent, just look at news. I didn’t know any other people of color, besides my brother, so who was I to disbelieve it?
So I tried to kill my blackness, I’d lay under the moon at night, hoping that it might work as the opposite of the sun and make me lighter. I begged for color contacts when I was in my early teens, becuase it would be so nice to have a real eye color, instead of the deep, dark blackness of my eyes.
Junior year, something snapped. I started calling people out on racism and they didn’t like it. I had always been so good-natured and kept my mouth shut while they made racist jokes. I shouldn’t have rocked the boat. By senior year, I had cut my relaxed hair off. I tired to explain I didn’t want to give into Eurocentric beauty standards, but no one understood. People on the internet did, but it wasn’t the same.
So drifted, I still do. In between worlds, worlds I’ll never fit into.