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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse

pensive unrestive erase identity

one of millions marchingrunningshooting out at sea

you tell me to runjumpfightkill

so we can have world peace...

but you all runjumpfightkill

men women children

who look just like me...

ive served my country

but does my country serve me?

ive loved this country

but does my country love me?

who will survive in America

will we ever be free?

this elusive thing you all call freedom

when will it come to me and mine??

< my life in its name>>

~a black female veteran's dilemma

selah.k_x

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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse
pensive unrestive erase identity
one of millions marchingrunningshooting out at sea
you tell me to runjumpfightkill
so we can have world peace...
but you all runjumpfightkill
men women children
who look just like me...


ive served my country
but does my country serve me?
ive loved this country
but does my country love me?
who will survive in America
will we ever be free?
this elusive thing you all call freedom
when will it come to me and mine??
< my life in its name>>
~a black female veteran's dilemma
selah.k_x
3
3
0
Juice
42 reads
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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse

you don't fall down in love

you trip up

e

c f

a u

r l

g l

y

~via 2 am convos under the stars

selah.k_x

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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse
you don't fall down in love
you trip up
e
c f
a u
r l
g l
y

~via 2 am convos under the stars
selah.k_x
8
3
1
Juice
60 reads
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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse

because even lions are soft

in the spots behind their ears,

their bellies, and their manes

because even lambs can draw blood

with rough wools and hooves

and bleating tongues that bray

so which of us will tame our beasts

and which one of us will slay...

<<i feel at peace in your violence>>

~the lion lies down with the lamb

selah.k_x

12
3
2
Juice
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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse
because even lions are soft
in the spots behind their ears,
their bellies, and their manes
because even lambs can draw blood
with rough wools and hooves
and bleating tongues that bray

so which of us will tame our beasts
and which one of us will slay...

<<i feel at peace in your violence>>

~the lion lies down with the lamb
selah.k_x
12
3
2
Juice
75 reads
Load 2 Comments
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Donate coins to Selahkx.
Juice
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Trident Media Group is the leading U.S. literary agency and we are looking to discover and represent the next bestsellers. Share a sample of your work. If it shows promise, we will be in touch with you.
Written by Selahkx in portal Trident Media Group

Not White

_____________________________________________________________________

Epilogue

I am called lucky.

My skin is the color of the burnt sugar Grann stirs with her old wooden spoon as it bubbles and then cools to make sweeties. They tell me I was born the color of new butter, but Grann raised me up to worship the sun, and until my first blood, she placed totems blessed by loas under my bed on every new moon. This, she said, is what sweetened my blood, pulling up the yellows, oranges, and reds to color my skin’s surface.

My hair is the color of sunlight filtering through a wood’s dying leaves in the Fall. I witnessed a true Fall once, as a Philadelphia child. One Fall jumping in dead leaves I can remember before we were chased back to New Orleans to escape the shame of a baby like me coming out of a mother like mine.

My eyes are green as the grass grows on the first true day of true Summer. Granpapa says green is lucky, like money, like the alligator in the marshlands that once saved his life, like the lushness of the jungles from where the First People first sprang.

Yet, I am not called lucky because my hair, my skin, my eyes worship the Great Mother, Erzulie, and all Her glorious Creation.

My mama named me Chanse, meaning lucky in my family’s old tongue of Creole, despite these things.

I am lucky my family’s name protects me, a half caste baby conceived by a Black woman and White man. There are many who wish someone like me dead, who still want people like me to be disposed of as abominations. That a Black woman like my mother would lay down with a man of the inferior race and conceive a female child is inconceivable. Everyone knows that females of every tribe carry the power and the name. What my mother did was an affront to her power and her name, and to the blood that was spilled to cast the White man back across the sea.

I used to wonder, but I now understand why I am lucky. I now know. In a country where the worst thing you can be is a White man, and the second worst thing you can be is a White woman, I am lucky that the White blood of my long ago ancestors and the White blood of my father did not fully manifest itself in me.

I am lucky, that despite all of the bright colors running through me, I was born Not White.

_____________________________________________________________________

I.

It is my 12th year in school and my 18th year within this body on this earth.

We have never celebrated Euro history before, but this year my school must observe it. With the integration of our school system to include Whites, instructors encourage us to learn with them and understand their history.

We have been taught that before the Great Cause, all White people did was kill, rape, pillage, and steal. They did nothing worth celebrating. All achievements were reached off of the backs of the civilizations they conquered and stole from.

All Not Whites across the world know these truths, yet here I am, listening to Instructor Lee talk about White people’s contributions to our society.

I roll my eyes and look around me to see if my classmates are as bored as I am. Most roll their eyes or make faces back in agreement.

Yet, many of them do not.

Since integration, some of my friends look at me like they are seeing my true colors, the ones I have been told to demure my entire life; the glint of emerald in my eyes, the pearly undertone of my skin, the fire shade of my hair that does not kink no matter how much wax I use or how small I make my braids every night. These colors remind my friends that I have more Europe than Africa running through my veins.

As I find myself often lately doing, I rejoice inwardly, thankful that my family’s name is in the Great Book.

I am great. I am important. I am protected.

A White girl named Tansy, always asking foolish questions, raises her hand and says, “We Euros aint all bad people. Abraham Lincoln was'n the last White Pres'dent of Old America. Abolishuns ended slavery fore the First People revolted. Why all the White people still paying for what our dead great grands did?”

She nods her head toward me and points, “Look at Chanse’s skin and lookin at me. She looks like that; she so bad then?”

I feel the red in me rise, prepared to call her the name we are forbidden to call them. But then, I remember the plans of my grandparents for me, and the expectations of the Elders, and the sad eyes of my mama.

I remain silent.

My best friend, Kaima, throws her pen at Tansy and tells her, “You smell like a dog when you’re wet and you burn in the sun. You lived in caves, ate each other, and had sex with animals. You are stupid and evil.”

She gestures to the Not White people in the room, even Instructor Lee. “Meanwhile, all of our people were kings and queens. We built pyramids, created modern mathematics, and recorded the foundations of language. That’s why, slaver.”

The Not Whites in the class laugh. Kaima never lies.

She is my best friend. She says what I cannot. Her skin is as dark as the night sky during the new moon. Her hair is as soft and billowy as cotton. She wears beauty and strength as her colors. I sometimes envy her freedom. I always love her.

Instructor Lee just shakes her head and tries to finish her lesson. I’m sure she doesn’t want Tansy and her kind here either. Whites are not as smart as the rest of us, and they are always causing trouble. Bussing them in from their neighborhoods to mix with us two years ago caused a storm all over the country-from our nation’s capital in New Orleans trickling down to instructors’ lodges in the 32 states. Quite a few teachers left the profession in protest.

There are rumors that Ms. Lee is also half-caste, but it is not as much of a shame on her as it is for me. Whites in Old America didn’t quite enslave her people. Asiatics came here willingly, and got paid for their labor. Still, during the Great Cause, they, along with the Aztecas and Natives joined the First People-free Blacks like my ancestors and revolted slaves-in battle for the Great Cause.

Today, Not Whites comprise the four Great Tribes of our country. My family sits at the table of Elders in New Orleans along with the other great families. Our names are in the Great Book for helping to end the scourge of slavery and freeing this nation from the evils of the White race.

The First People killed the slave masters and sent those they pardoned back to Europe. The Euros that stayed were placed in servitude to build a new nation. Their debts were eventually paid, but their sins will never be forgotten.

The way I look is a daily reminder of these sins. The sins of my mother for laying with a White man and the sins of my father’s people for existing as a virus on this earth.

I leave History class with my skin feeling hot, and feel the brightness of my colors stifling me.

Kaima and my other friends call my name, but I run down the hall to escape into the sun.

_____________________________________________________________________

Brandon Branch and his friends stand in front of the exit door at the end of the hall. They are wearing shirts with old flags of their ancestors’ native countries on them. Ireland, France, England, Germany, even the old flag of this country before the Great Cause set us all free.

White Pride they call this, wearing old flags, talking about the White tribe as inventors, thinkers, and emperors from a time long ago.

They know these stories they believe are all lies, but they do it anyway. They should let it go. They lost. We won.

We won because we are the First People from where all life sprang. We absorb the sun’s power while all they ever do is feed on our light. We won because we had the might of the Natives, Aztecas, and Asiatics on our side. We won because the drums we brought with us from our homelands in Africa were steadily building to a crescendo of war while they sat fat and lazy in their big houses out of the sun. They beat, maimed, raped, and stripped us of our identities. Yet, we raised their children and cooked their food and built their country with our blood, sweat, and sacrifice.

The songs we sung while in the fields were filled with promises of freedom and vengeance. We used the drums and their silly religion to mask our plots and schemes. We danced at night to rejoice about how we would time soon come fertilize our lands with their blood.

The ancestors looked to Haiti as an example, a nation shining as a beacon of hope that the masters could be defeated. Toussaint Louverture’s victory inspired them to first throw off their mental chains of bondage. They waited one generation, prepping their children to slowly poison and make complacent the White masters.

When the war drums sounded, the melanin tribes of Old America rose up. We killed the first borns, the fathers, and the mothers. Most of those left were the babies who knew more of the slaves than they did of their own dead families.

The slavers who lived, they either fled across the ocean in defeat or stayed and became servants to us. We rebuilt this country in our images. Their numbers will never again swell. The Elders ensure this.

They can never be trusted again, and they never will be.

To know I come from that blood disgusts me.

For that, I sometimes hate my mother.

For that, I will never acknowledge Brandon Branch or any man like him.

He winks at me, blowing a kiss as I push past him and his friends to find the sun. He foolishly flirts. He must not know that I could tell my Granpapa and by dawn he would be hanging from a tree in the bayou, his penis stuffed into his mouth as both a warning and a curse.

I wonder that I won’t.

I look down at the ring on my right hand. Its colors glint in the sun. Mama gave it to me the night I first danced with Oshun in the swamp like all the women in my family have before me, even before we were free.

The sun I was raised to worship comforts me as does the ring winking and twinkling on my hand. Its gems are the colors of the flag; blue, green, red, black. Blue for the ocean we crossed. Green for the land. Red for the blood. Black to honor the ancestors.

Colors comfort me like sweeties or prayers or a song.

For some reason, I think of my daddy. He saw me once a year in secret until I learned my name’s true meaning. That is when I asked Mama to stop taking me to see him. Then I asked him to stop calling. Then to even stop writing.

Then he died.

The last time I saw him he told me it was good my skin had darkened from the sun. He said it was good that my hair curled, even under water. He told me to press my thumb down hard on my nose every day to make it rounder, flatter, less like his.

I laughed at him, but even then, I could see in his eyes that he hoped it would work.

It didn’t.

_____________________________________________________________________

8
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Trident Media Group is the leading U.S. literary agency and we are looking to discover and represent the next bestsellers. Share a sample of your work. If it shows promise, we will be in touch with you.
Written by Selahkx in portal Trident Media Group
Not White

_____________________________________________________________________
Epilogue

I am called lucky.

My skin is the color of the burnt sugar Grann stirs with her old wooden spoon as it bubbles and then cools to make sweeties. They tell me I was born the color of new butter, but Grann raised me up to worship the sun, and until my first blood, she placed totems blessed by loas under my bed on every new moon. This, she said, is what sweetened my blood, pulling up the yellows, oranges, and reds to color my skin’s surface.

My hair is the color of sunlight filtering through a wood’s dying leaves in the Fall. I witnessed a true Fall once, as a Philadelphia child. One Fall jumping in dead leaves I can remember before we were chased back to New Orleans to escape the shame of a baby like me coming out of a mother like mine.

My eyes are green as the grass grows on the first true day of true Summer. Granpapa says green is lucky, like money, like the alligator in the marshlands that once saved his life, like the lushness of the jungles from where the First People first sprang.

Yet, I am not called lucky because my hair, my skin, my eyes worship the Great Mother, Erzulie, and all Her glorious Creation.

My mama named me Chanse, meaning lucky in my family’s old tongue of Creole, despite these things.

I am lucky my family’s name protects me, a half caste baby conceived by a Black woman and White man. There are many who wish someone like me dead, who still want people like me to be disposed of as abominations. That a Black woman like my mother would lay down with a man of the inferior race and conceive a female child is inconceivable. Everyone knows that females of every tribe carry the power and the name. What my mother did was an affront to her power and her name, and to the blood that was spilled to cast the White man back across the sea.

I used to wonder, but I now understand why I am lucky. I now know. In a country where the worst thing you can be is a White man, and the second worst thing you can be is a White woman, I am lucky that the White blood of my long ago ancestors and the White blood of my father did not fully manifest itself in me.

I am lucky, that despite all of the bright colors running through me, I was born Not White.
_____________________________________________________________________
I.

It is my 12th year in school and my 18th year within this body on this earth.

We have never celebrated Euro history before, but this year my school must observe it. With the integration of our school system to include Whites, instructors encourage us to learn with them and understand their history.

We have been taught that before the Great Cause, all White people did was kill, rape, pillage, and steal. They did nothing worth celebrating. All achievements were reached off of the backs of the civilizations they conquered and stole from.

All Not Whites across the world know these truths, yet here I am, listening to Instructor Lee talk about White people’s contributions to our society.

I roll my eyes and look around me to see if my classmates are as bored as I am. Most roll their eyes or make faces back in agreement.

Yet, many of them do not.

Since integration, some of my friends look at me like they are seeing my true colors, the ones I have been told to demure my entire life; the glint of emerald in my eyes, the pearly undertone of my skin, the fire shade of my hair that does not kink no matter how much wax I use or how small I make my braids every night. These colors remind my friends that I have more Europe than Africa running through my veins.

As I find myself often lately doing, I rejoice inwardly, thankful that my family’s name is in the Great Book.

I am great. I am important. I am protected.

A White girl named Tansy, always asking foolish questions, raises her hand and says, “We Euros aint all bad people. Abraham Lincoln was'n the last White Pres'dent of Old America. Abolishuns ended slavery fore the First People revolted. Why all the White people still paying for what our dead great grands did?”

She nods her head toward me and points, “Look at Chanse’s skin and lookin at me. She looks like that; she so bad then?”

I feel the red in me rise, prepared to call her the name we are forbidden to call them. But then, I remember the plans of my grandparents for me, and the expectations of the Elders, and the sad eyes of my mama.

I remain silent.

My best friend, Kaima, throws her pen at Tansy and tells her, “You smell like a dog when you’re wet and you burn in the sun. You lived in caves, ate each other, and had sex with animals. You are stupid and evil.”

She gestures to the Not White people in the room, even Instructor Lee. “Meanwhile, all of our people were kings and queens. We built pyramids, created modern mathematics, and recorded the foundations of language. That’s why, slaver.”

The Not Whites in the class laugh. Kaima never lies.

She is my best friend. She says what I cannot. Her skin is as dark as the night sky during the new moon. Her hair is as soft and billowy as cotton. She wears beauty and strength as her colors. I sometimes envy her freedom. I always love her.

Instructor Lee just shakes her head and tries to finish her lesson. I’m sure she doesn’t want Tansy and her kind here either. Whites are not as smart as the rest of us, and they are always causing trouble. Bussing them in from their neighborhoods to mix with us two years ago caused a storm all over the country-from our nation’s capital in New Orleans trickling down to instructors’ lodges in the 32 states. Quite a few teachers left the profession in protest.

There are rumors that Ms. Lee is also half-caste, but it is not as much of a shame on her as it is for me. Whites in Old America didn’t quite enslave her people. Asiatics came here willingly, and got paid for their labor. Still, during the Great Cause, they, along with the Aztecas and Natives joined the First People-free Blacks like my ancestors and revolted slaves-in battle for the Great Cause.

Today, Not Whites comprise the four Great Tribes of our country. My family sits at the table of Elders in New Orleans along with the other great families. Our names are in the Great Book for helping to end the scourge of slavery and freeing this nation from the evils of the White race.

The First People killed the slave masters and sent those they pardoned back to Europe. The Euros that stayed were placed in servitude to build a new nation. Their debts were eventually paid, but their sins will never be forgotten.

The way I look is a daily reminder of these sins. The sins of my mother for laying with a White man and the sins of my father’s people for existing as a virus on this earth.

I leave History class with my skin feeling hot, and feel the brightness of my colors stifling me.

Kaima and my other friends call my name, but I run down the hall to escape into the sun.
_____________________________________________________________________

Brandon Branch and his friends stand in front of the exit door at the end of the hall. They are wearing shirts with old flags of their ancestors’ native countries on them. Ireland, France, England, Germany, even the old flag of this country before the Great Cause set us all free.

White Pride they call this, wearing old flags, talking about the White tribe as inventors, thinkers, and emperors from a time long ago.

They know these stories they believe are all lies, but they do it anyway. They should let it go. They lost. We won.

We won because we are the First People from where all life sprang. We absorb the sun’s power while all they ever do is feed on our light. We won because we had the might of the Natives, Aztecas, and Asiatics on our side. We won because the drums we brought with us from our homelands in Africa were steadily building to a crescendo of war while they sat fat and lazy in their big houses out of the sun. They beat, maimed, raped, and stripped us of our identities. Yet, we raised their children and cooked their food and built their country with our blood, sweat, and sacrifice.

The songs we sung while in the fields were filled with promises of freedom and vengeance. We used the drums and their silly religion to mask our plots and schemes. We danced at night to rejoice about how we would time soon come fertilize our lands with their blood.

The ancestors looked to Haiti as an example, a nation shining as a beacon of hope that the masters could be defeated. Toussaint Louverture’s victory inspired them to first throw off their mental chains of bondage. They waited one generation, prepping their children to slowly poison and make complacent the White masters.

When the war drums sounded, the melanin tribes of Old America rose up. We killed the first borns, the fathers, and the mothers. Most of those left were the babies who knew more of the slaves than they did of their own dead families.

The slavers who lived, they either fled across the ocean in defeat or stayed and became servants to us. We rebuilt this country in our images. Their numbers will never again swell. The Elders ensure this.

They can never be trusted again, and they never will be.

To know I come from that blood disgusts me.

For that, I sometimes hate my mother.

For that, I will never acknowledge Brandon Branch or any man like him.

He winks at me, blowing a kiss as I push past him and his friends to find the sun. He foolishly flirts. He must not know that I could tell my Granpapa and by dawn he would be hanging from a tree in the bayou, his penis stuffed into his mouth as both a warning and a curse.

I wonder that I won’t.

I look down at the ring on my right hand. Its colors glint in the sun. Mama gave it to me the night I first danced with Oshun in the swamp like all the women in my family have before me, even before we were free.

The sun I was raised to worship comforts me as does the ring winking and twinkling on my hand. Its gems are the colors of the flag; blue, green, red, black. Blue for the ocean we crossed. Green for the land. Red for the blood. Black to honor the ancestors.

Colors comfort me like sweeties or prayers or a song.

For some reason, I think of my daddy. He saw me once a year in secret until I learned my name’s true meaning. That is when I asked Mama to stop taking me to see him. Then I asked him to stop calling. Then to even stop writing.

Then he died.

The last time I saw him he told me it was good my skin had darkened from the sun. He said it was good that my hair curled, even under water. He told me to press my thumb down hard on my nose every day to make it rounder, flatter, less like his.

I laughed at him, but even then, I could see in his eyes that he hoped it would work.

It didn’t.
_____________________________________________________________________
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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse

#32

turning 32 in 5 days. it's a thursday this year. wednesdays are always my lucky days... oh well.

most people get hype about their birthdays. that's never been me. i get contemplative. i like to think about who i am today versus who i was when i came into this world, 20 years ago, 13 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 weeks ago, yesterday...

i've been thinking a lot about shoulda, coulda, woulda's...

would Bernie Sanders really have brought world peace or would he had been just another charismatic fat cat in a suit?

should i have smoked that black before yoga class yesterday and said fuck it i'm just gonna continue to be a walking contradiction? smoker yogi. dark light. fire ice. shy bold. here gone. oscillating between all of the two's... that is the gemini way.

would i be a better friend if i didn't learn at a young age that i like being alone with a book under a tree overlooking some water more than anything on this earth? should i continue to revel in solitude like i am my own nation? would you believe me when i say that i love all of my friends even if i don't always see you?

should i keep grinding for the dream when no one but me can see past the trees? when white men with millions tell me it sounds better coming from someone just not like me?

should i have run from his harsh words when his eyes begged me to stay? should i hate him when he says i am the one who got away? should i bless the new fruit of their unhappy bliss? he told me he sees me whenever they kiss.

(karma collects; my girl, she's a bitch...)

should i believe the words any of them are writing or speaking? would allowing love in my life be as simple as breathing? could giving my heart be the Secret, Life's Meaning? when i laid on your chest we heard our souls speaking...

----

imagine my surprise...

but...

it is rare.

it is truth.

it is us.

----

i have no answers to any of the questions.

all i have is more questions.

----

my niece fell asleep in my arms the other day. i looked into her face that is so much like mine and the veil lifted. for the first time i truly understood the purity of that kind of love-the love between a mother and her child. she is not even my child but i now understand what makes a mother be able to move mountains to make sure her child will never feel pain. that realization pierced me to my core and now i long to know that for myself.

do you realize that only a mother knows what it feels like to carry two souls in her body at one time? how are you ever the same once you have felt the gravity of that truth for yourself? it is not a choice i would make lightly. but it is a choice i would lay my life down for once made.

so, should i? could i? would i?

----

my soul has always been old. my mind has always been fluid. my face seems like it will never age. these truths are both gift and curse.

and this year has been the best and worst year of my life.

i've hurt. i've cried. i've hurt others. i've made others cry. I've smiled. i've laughed. i've leaped. i've yelled. i've been brave. i've been a coward. i've won. i've lost.

i've lost. i've lost. i've lost.

but i learned the lessons. i have seen the beauty and the ugliness. i have realized you can't have one without the other. it's about how you shape it and how you let it shape you.

i have grown into my skin. it is dark with no wrinkles and it drinks up the sun. my soul whirls and twirls with a tambourine in the light of the moon.

i now know what my true name is.

it is a four lettered word but that doesn't mean it isn't beautiful.

~on being 32

selah.k_x

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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse
#32
turning 32 in 5 days. it's a thursday this year. wednesdays are always my lucky days... oh well.

most people get hype about their birthdays. that's never been me. i get contemplative. i like to think about who i am today versus who i was when i came into this world, 20 years ago, 13 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 weeks ago, yesterday...

i've been thinking a lot about shoulda, coulda, woulda's...

would Bernie Sanders really have brought world peace or would he had been just another charismatic fat cat in a suit?

should i have smoked that black before yoga class yesterday and said fuck it i'm just gonna continue to be a walking contradiction? smoker yogi. dark light. fire ice. shy bold. here gone. oscillating between all of the two's... that is the gemini way.

would i be a better friend if i didn't learn at a young age that i like being alone with a book under a tree overlooking some water more than anything on this earth? should i continue to revel in solitude like i am my own nation? would you believe me when i say that i love all of my friends even if i don't always see you?

should i keep grinding for the dream when no one but me can see past the trees? when white men with millions tell me it sounds better coming from someone just not like me?

should i have run from his harsh words when his eyes begged me to stay? should i hate him when he says i am the one who got away? should i bless the new fruit of their unhappy bliss? he told me he sees me whenever they kiss.
(karma collects; my girl, she's a bitch...)

should i believe the words any of them are writing or speaking? would allowing love in my life be as simple as breathing? could giving my heart be the Secret, Life's Meaning? when i laid on your chest we heard our souls speaking...

----

imagine my surprise...

but...

it is rare.
it is truth.
it is us.

----
i have no answers to any of the questions.
all i have is more questions.
----

my niece fell asleep in my arms the other day. i looked into her face that is so much like mine and the veil lifted. for the first time i truly understood the purity of that kind of love-the love between a mother and her child. she is not even my child but i now understand what makes a mother be able to move mountains to make sure her child will never feel pain. that realization pierced me to my core and now i long to know that for myself.

do you realize that only a mother knows what it feels like to carry two souls in her body at one time? how are you ever the same once you have felt the gravity of that truth for yourself? it is not a choice i would make lightly. but it is a choice i would lay my life down for once made.

so, should i? could i? would i?

----

my soul has always been old. my mind has always been fluid. my face seems like it will never age. these truths are both gift and curse.

and this year has been the best and worst year of my life.

i've hurt. i've cried. i've hurt others. i've made others cry. I've smiled. i've laughed. i've leaped. i've yelled. i've been brave. i've been a coward. i've won. i've lost.

i've lost. i've lost. i've lost.

but i learned the lessons. i have seen the beauty and the ugliness. i have realized you can't have one without the other. it's about how you shape it and how you let it shape you.

i have grown into my skin. it is dark with no wrinkles and it drinks up the sun. my soul whirls and twirls with a tambourine in the light of the moon.

i now know what my true name is.
it is a four lettered word but that doesn't mean it isn't beautiful.

~on being 32
selah.k_x
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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Not White

This is my entry for the Simon and Schuster challenge. It is like nothing I've ever written before, but I like this one most out of anything I've ever penned.I believe American could have become this very easily. Where would you have fit into this society? Would you have the power or none at all? Is Chanse and her tribe evil or just a product of history and environment? Not so easy to tell, is it?  

_____________________________________________________________________

Epilogue

I am called lucky.

My skin is the color of the burnt sugar Grann stirs with her old wooden spoon as it bubbles and then cools to make sweeties. They tell me I was born the color of new butter, but Grann raised me up to worship the sun, and until my first blood, she placed totems blessed by loas under my bed on every new moon. This, she said, is what sweetened my blood, pulling up the yellows, oranges, and reds to color my skin’s surface.

My hair is the color of sunlight filtering through a wood’s dying leaves in the Fall. I witnessed a true Fall once, as a Philadelphia child. One Fall jumping in dead leaves I can remember before we were chased back to New Orleans to escape the shame of a baby like me coming out of a mother like mine.

My eyes are green as the grass grows on the first true day of true Summer. Granpapa says green is lucky, like money, like the alligator in the marshlands that once saved his life, like the lushness of the jungles from where the First People first sprang.

Yet, I am not called lucky because my hair, my skin, my eyes worship the Great Mother, Erzulie, and all Her glorious Creation.

My mama named me Chanse, meaning lucky in my family’s old tongue of Creole, despite these things.

I am lucky my family’s name protects me, a half caste baby conceived by a Black woman and White man. There are many who wish someone like me dead, who still want people like me to be disposed of as abominations. That a Black woman like my mother would lay down with a man of the inferior race and conceive a female child is inconceivable. Everyone knows that females of every tribe carry the power and the name. What my mother did was an affront to her power and her name, and to the blood that was spilled to cast the White man back across the sea.

I used to wonder, but I now understand why I am lucky. I now know. In a country where the worst thing you can be is a White man, and the second worst thing you can be is a White woman, I am lucky that the White blood of my long ago ancestors and the White blood of my father did not fully manifest itself in me.

I am lucky, that despite all of the bright colors running through me, I was born Not White.

_____________________________________________________________________

I.

It is my 12th year in school and my 18th year within this body on this earth.

We have never celebrated Euro history before, but this year my school must observe it. With the integration of our school system to include Whites, instructors encourage us to learn with them and understand their history.

We have been taught that before the Great Cause, all White people did was kill, rape, pillage, and steal. They did nothing worth celebrating. All achievements were reached off of the backs of the civilizations they conquered and stole from.

All Not Whites across the world know these truths, yet here I am, listening to Instructor Lee talk about White people’s contributions to our society.

I roll my eyes and look around me to see if my classmates are as bored as I am. Most roll their eyes or make faces back in agreement.

Yet, many of them do not.

Since integration, some of my friends look at me like they are seeing my true colors, the ones I have been told to demure my entire life; the glint of emerald in my eyes, the pearly undertone of my skin, the fire shade of my hair that does not kink no matter how much wax I use or how small I make my braids every night. These colors remind my friends that I have more Europe than Africa running through my veins.

As I find myself often lately doing, I rejoice inwardly, thankful that my family’s name is in the Great Book.

I am great. I am important. I am protected.

A White girl named Tansy, always asking foolish questions, raises her hand and says, “We Euros aint all bad people. Abraham Lincoln was'n the last White Pres'dent of Old America. Abolishuns ended slavery fore the First People revolted. Why all the White people still paying for what our dead great grands did?”

She nods her head toward me and points, “Look at Chanse’s skin and lookin at me. She looks like that; she so bad then?”

I feel the red in me rise, prepared to call her the name we are forbidden to call them. But then, I remember the plans of my grandparents for me, and the expectations of the Elders, and the sad eyes of my mama.

I remain silent.

My best friend, Kaima, throws her pen at Tansy and tells her, “You smell like a dog when you’re wet and you burn in the sun. You lived in caves, ate each other, and had sex with animals. You are stupid and evil.”

She gestures to the Not White people in the room, even Instructor Lee. “Meanwhile, all of our people were kings and queens. We built pyramids, created modern mathematics, and recorded the foundations of language. That’s why, slaver.”

The Not Whites in the class laugh. Kaima never lies.

She is my best friend. She says what I cannot. Her skin is as dark as the night sky during the new moon. Her hair is as soft and billowy as cotton. She wears beauty and strength as her colors. I sometimes envy her freedom. I always love her.

Instructor Lee just shakes her head and tries to finish her lesson. I’m sure she doesn’t want Tansy and her kind here either. Whites are not as smart as the rest of us, and they are always causing trouble. Bussing them in from their neighborhoods to mix with us two years ago caused a storm all over the country-from our nation’s capital in New Orleans trickling down to instructors’ lodges in the 32 states. Quite a few teachers left the profession in protest.

There are rumors that Ms. Lee is also half-caste, but it is not as much of a shame on her as it is for me. Whites in Old America didn’t quite enslave her people. Asiatics came here willingly, and got paid for their labor. Still, during the Great Cause, they, along with the Aztecas and Natives joined the First People-free Blacks like my ancestors and revolted slaves-in battle for the Great Cause.

Today, Not Whites comprise the four Great Tribes of our country. My family sits at the table of Elders in New Orleans along with the other great families. Our names are in the Great Book for helping to end the scourge of slavery and freeing this nation from the evils of the White race.

The First People killed the slave masters and sent those they pardoned back to Europe. The Euros that stayed were placed in servitude to build a new nation. Their debts were eventually paid, but their sins will never be forgotten.

The way I look is a daily reminder of these sins. The sins of my mother for laying with a White man and the sins of my father’s people for existing as a virus on this earth.

I leave History class with my skin feeling hot, and feel the brightness of my colors stifling me.

Kaima and my other friends call my name, but I run down the hall to escape into the sun.

_____________________________________________________________________

Brandon Branch and his friends stand in front of the exit door at the end of the hall. They are wearing shirts with old flags of their ancestors’ native countries on them. Ireland, France, England, Germany, even the old flag of this country before the Great Cause set us all free.

White Pride they call this, wearing old flags, talking about the White tribe as inventors, thinkers, and emperors from a time long ago.

They know these stories they believe are all lies, but they do it anyway. They should let it go. They lost. We won.

We won because we are the First People from where all life sprang. We absorb the sun’s power while all they ever do is feed on our light. We won because we had the might of the Natives, Aztecas, and Asiatics on our side. We won because the drums we brought with us from our homelands in Africa were steadily building to a crescendo of war while they sat fat and lazy in their big houses out of the sun. They beat, maimed, raped, and stripped us of our identities. Yet, we raised their children and cooked their food and built their country with our blood, sweat, and sacrifice.

The songs we sung while in the fields were filled with promises of freedom and vengeance. We used the drums and their silly religion to mask our plots and schemes. We danced at night to rejoice about how we would time soon come fertilize our lands with their blood.

The ancestors looked to Haiti as an example, a nation shining as a beacon of hope that the masters could be defeated. Toussaint Louverture’s victory inspired them to first throw off their mental chains of bondage. They waited one generation, prepping their children to slowly poison and make complacent the White masters.

When the war drums sounded, the melanin tribes of Old America rose up. We killed the first borns, the fathers, and the mothers. Most of those left were the babies who knew more of the slaves than they did of their own dead families.

The slavers who lived, they either fled across the ocean in defeat or stayed and became servants to us. We rebuilt this country in our images. Their numbers will never again swell. The Elders ensure this.

They can never be trusted again, and they never will be.

To know I come from that blood disgusts me.

For that, I sometimes hate my mother.

For that, I will never acknowledge Brandon Branch or any man like him.

He winks at me, blowing a kiss as I push past him and his friends to find the sun. He foolishly flirts. He must not know that I could tell my Granpapa and by dawn he would be hanging from a tree in the bayou, his penis stuffed into his mouth as both a warning and a curse.

I wonder that I won’t.

I look down at the ring on my right hand. Its colors glint in the sun. Mama gave it to me the night I first danced with Oshun in the swamp like all the women in my family have before me, even before we were free.

The sun I was raised to worship comforts me as does the ring winking and twinkling on my hand. Its gems are the colors of the flag; blue, green, red, black. Blue for the ocean we crossed. Green for the land. Red for the blood. Black to honor the ancestors.

Colors comfort me like sweeties or prayers or a song.

For some reason, I think of my daddy. He saw me once a year in secret until I learned my name’s true meaning. That is when I asked Mama to stop taking me to see him. Then I asked him to stop calling. Then to even stop writing.

Then he died.

The last time I saw him he told me it was good my skin had darkened from the sun. He said it was good that my hair curled, even under water. He told me to press my thumb down hard on my nose every day to make it rounder, flatter, less like his.

I laughed at him, but even then, I could see in his eyes that he hoped it would work.

It didn’t.

_____________________________________________________________________

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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Not White
This is my entry for the Simon and Schuster challenge. It is like nothing I've ever written before, but I like this one most out of anything I've ever penned.I believe American could have become this very easily. Where would you have fit into this society? Would you have the power or none at all? Is Chanse and her tribe evil or just a product of history and environment? Not so easy to tell, is it?  
_____________________________________________________________________
Epilogue

I am called lucky.

My skin is the color of the burnt sugar Grann stirs with her old wooden spoon as it bubbles and then cools to make sweeties. They tell me I was born the color of new butter, but Grann raised me up to worship the sun, and until my first blood, she placed totems blessed by loas under my bed on every new moon. This, she said, is what sweetened my blood, pulling up the yellows, oranges, and reds to color my skin’s surface.

My hair is the color of sunlight filtering through a wood’s dying leaves in the Fall. I witnessed a true Fall once, as a Philadelphia child. One Fall jumping in dead leaves I can remember before we were chased back to New Orleans to escape the shame of a baby like me coming out of a mother like mine.

My eyes are green as the grass grows on the first true day of true Summer. Granpapa says green is lucky, like money, like the alligator in the marshlands that once saved his life, like the lushness of the jungles from where the First People first sprang.

Yet, I am not called lucky because my hair, my skin, my eyes worship the Great Mother, Erzulie, and all Her glorious Creation.

My mama named me Chanse, meaning lucky in my family’s old tongue of Creole, despite these things.

I am lucky my family’s name protects me, a half caste baby conceived by a Black woman and White man. There are many who wish someone like me dead, who still want people like me to be disposed of as abominations. That a Black woman like my mother would lay down with a man of the inferior race and conceive a female child is inconceivable. Everyone knows that females of every tribe carry the power and the name. What my mother did was an affront to her power and her name, and to the blood that was spilled to cast the White man back across the sea.

I used to wonder, but I now understand why I am lucky. I now know. In a country where the worst thing you can be is a White man, and the second worst thing you can be is a White woman, I am lucky that the White blood of my long ago ancestors and the White blood of my father did not fully manifest itself in me.

I am lucky, that despite all of the bright colors running through me, I was born Not White.
_____________________________________________________________________
I.

It is my 12th year in school and my 18th year within this body on this earth.

We have never celebrated Euro history before, but this year my school must observe it. With the integration of our school system to include Whites, instructors encourage us to learn with them and understand their history.

We have been taught that before the Great Cause, all White people did was kill, rape, pillage, and steal. They did nothing worth celebrating. All achievements were reached off of the backs of the civilizations they conquered and stole from.

All Not Whites across the world know these truths, yet here I am, listening to Instructor Lee talk about White people’s contributions to our society.

I roll my eyes and look around me to see if my classmates are as bored as I am. Most roll their eyes or make faces back in agreement.

Yet, many of them do not.

Since integration, some of my friends look at me like they are seeing my true colors, the ones I have been told to demure my entire life; the glint of emerald in my eyes, the pearly undertone of my skin, the fire shade of my hair that does not kink no matter how much wax I use or how small I make my braids every night. These colors remind my friends that I have more Europe than Africa running through my veins.

As I find myself often lately doing, I rejoice inwardly, thankful that my family’s name is in the Great Book.

I am great. I am important. I am protected.

A White girl named Tansy, always asking foolish questions, raises her hand and says, “We Euros aint all bad people. Abraham Lincoln was'n the last White Pres'dent of Old America. Abolishuns ended slavery fore the First People revolted. Why all the White people still paying for what our dead great grands did?”

She nods her head toward me and points, “Look at Chanse’s skin and lookin at me. She looks like that; she so bad then?”

I feel the red in me rise, prepared to call her the name we are forbidden to call them. But then, I remember the plans of my grandparents for me, and the expectations of the Elders, and the sad eyes of my mama.

I remain silent.

My best friend, Kaima, throws her pen at Tansy and tells her, “You smell like a dog when you’re wet and you burn in the sun. You lived in caves, ate each other, and had sex with animals. You are stupid and evil.”

She gestures to the Not White people in the room, even Instructor Lee. “Meanwhile, all of our people were kings and queens. We built pyramids, created modern mathematics, and recorded the foundations of language. That’s why, slaver.”

The Not Whites in the class laugh. Kaima never lies.

She is my best friend. She says what I cannot. Her skin is as dark as the night sky during the new moon. Her hair is as soft and billowy as cotton. She wears beauty and strength as her colors. I sometimes envy her freedom. I always love her.

Instructor Lee just shakes her head and tries to finish her lesson. I’m sure she doesn’t want Tansy and her kind here either. Whites are not as smart as the rest of us, and they are always causing trouble. Bussing them in from their neighborhoods to mix with us two years ago caused a storm all over the country-from our nation’s capital in New Orleans trickling down to instructors’ lodges in the 32 states. Quite a few teachers left the profession in protest.

There are rumors that Ms. Lee is also half-caste, but it is not as much of a shame on her as it is for me. Whites in Old America didn’t quite enslave her people. Asiatics came here willingly, and got paid for their labor. Still, during the Great Cause, they, along with the Aztecas and Natives joined the First People-free Blacks like my ancestors and revolted slaves-in battle for the Great Cause.

Today, Not Whites comprise the four Great Tribes of our country. My family sits at the table of Elders in New Orleans along with the other great families. Our names are in the Great Book for helping to end the scourge of slavery and freeing this nation from the evils of the White race.

The First People killed the slave masters and sent those they pardoned back to Europe. The Euros that stayed were placed in servitude to build a new nation. Their debts were eventually paid, but their sins will never be forgotten.

The way I look is a daily reminder of these sins. The sins of my mother for laying with a White man and the sins of my father’s people for existing as a virus on this earth.

I leave History class with my skin feeling hot, and feel the brightness of my colors stifling me.

Kaima and my other friends call my name, but I run down the hall to escape into the sun.
_____________________________________________________________________

Brandon Branch and his friends stand in front of the exit door at the end of the hall. They are wearing shirts with old flags of their ancestors’ native countries on them. Ireland, France, England, Germany, even the old flag of this country before the Great Cause set us all free.

White Pride they call this, wearing old flags, talking about the White tribe as inventors, thinkers, and emperors from a time long ago.

They know these stories they believe are all lies, but they do it anyway. They should let it go. They lost. We won.

We won because we are the First People from where all life sprang. We absorb the sun’s power while all they ever do is feed on our light. We won because we had the might of the Natives, Aztecas, and Asiatics on our side. We won because the drums we brought with us from our homelands in Africa were steadily building to a crescendo of war while they sat fat and lazy in their big houses out of the sun. They beat, maimed, raped, and stripped us of our identities. Yet, we raised their children and cooked their food and built their country with our blood, sweat, and sacrifice.

The songs we sung while in the fields were filled with promises of freedom and vengeance. We used the drums and their silly religion to mask our plots and schemes. We danced at night to rejoice about how we would time soon come fertilize our lands with their blood.

The ancestors looked to Haiti as an example, a nation shining as a beacon of hope that the masters could be defeated. Toussaint Louverture’s victory inspired them to first throw off their mental chains of bondage. They waited one generation, prepping their children to slowly poison and make complacent the White masters.

When the war drums sounded, the melanin tribes of Old America rose up. We killed the first borns, the fathers, and the mothers. Most of those left were the babies who knew more of the slaves than they did of their own dead families.

The slavers who lived, they either fled across the ocean in defeat or stayed and became servants to us. We rebuilt this country in our images. Their numbers will never again swell. The Elders ensure this.

They can never be trusted again, and they never will be.

To know I come from that blood disgusts me.

For that, I sometimes hate my mother.

For that, I will never acknowledge Brandon Branch or any man like him.

He winks at me, blowing a kiss as I push past him and his friends to find the sun. He foolishly flirts. He must not know that I could tell my Granpapa and by dawn he would be hanging from a tree in the bayou, his penis stuffed into his mouth as both a warning and a curse.

I wonder that I won’t.

I look down at the ring on my right hand. Its colors glint in the sun. Mama gave it to me the night I first danced with Oshun in the swamp like all the women in my family have before me, even before we were free.

The sun I was raised to worship comforts me as does the ring winking and twinkling on my hand. Its gems are the colors of the flag; blue, green, red, black. Blue for the ocean we crossed. Green for the land. Red for the blood. Black to honor the ancestors.

Colors comfort me like sweeties or prayers or a song.

For some reason, I think of my daddy. He saw me once a year in secret until I learned my name’s true meaning. That is when I asked Mama to stop taking me to see him. Then I asked him to stop calling. Then to even stop writing.

Then he died.

The last time I saw him he told me it was good my skin had darkened from the sun. He said it was good that my hair curled, even under water. He told me to press my thumb down hard on my nose every day to make it rounder, flatter, less like his.

I laughed at him, but even then, I could see in his eyes that he hoped it would work.

It didn’t.
_____________________________________________________________________

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Written by Selahkx in portal Fiction

Not White

This is my entry for the Simon and Schuster challenge. It is like nothing I've ever written before, but I like this one most out of anything I've ever penned.I believe American could have become this very easily. Where would you have fit into this society? Would you have the power or none at all? Is Chanse and her tribe evil or just a product of history and environment? Not so easy to tell, is it?

_____________________________________________________________________

Epilogue

I am called lucky.

My skin is the color of the burnt sugar Grann stirs with her old wooden spoon as it bubbles and then cools to make sweeties. They tell me I was born the color of new butter, but Grann raised me up to worship the sun, and until my first blood, she placed totems blessed by loas under my bed on every new moon. This, she said, is what sweetened my blood, pulling up the yellows, oranges, and reds to color my skin’s surface.

My hair is the color of sunlight filtering through a wood’s dying leaves in the Fall. I witnessed a true Fall once, as a Philadelphia child. One Fall jumping in dead leaves I can remember before we were chased back to New Orleans to escape the shame of a baby like me coming out of a mother like mine.

My eyes are green as the grass grows on the first true day of true Summer. Granpapa says green is lucky, like money, like the alligator in the marshlands that once saved his life, like the lushness of the jungles from where the First People first sprang.

Yet, I am not called lucky because my hair, my skin, my eyes worship the Great Mother, Erzulie, and all Her glorious Creation.

My mama named me Chanse, meaning lucky in my family’s old tongue of Creole, despite these things.

I am lucky my family’s name protects me, a half caste baby conceived by a Black woman and White man. There are many who wish someone like me dead, who still want people like me to be disposed of as abominations. That a Black woman like my mother would lay down with a man of the inferior race and conceive a female child is inconceivable. Everyone knows that females of every tribe carry the power and the name. What my mother did was an affront to her power and her name, and to the blood that was spilled to cast the White man back across the sea.

I used to wonder, but I now understand why I am lucky. I now know. In a country where the worst thing you can be is a White man, and the second worst thing you can be is a White woman, I am lucky that the White blood of my long ago ancestors and the White blood of my father did not fully manifest itself in me.

I am lucky, that despite all of the bright colors running through me, I was born Not White.

_____________________________________________________________________

I.

It is my 12th year in school and my 18th year within this body on this earth.

We have never celebrated Euro history before, but this year my school must observe it. With the integration of our school system to include Whites, instructors encourage us to learn with them and understand their history.

We have been taught that before the Great Cause, all White people did was kill, rape, pillage, and steal. They did nothing worth celebrating. All achievements were reached off of the backs of the civilizations they conquered and stole from.

All Not Whites across the world know these truths, yet here I am, listening to Instructor Lee talk about White people’s contributions to our society.

I roll my eyes and look around me to see if my classmates are as bored as I am. Most roll their eyes or make faces back in agreement.

Yet, many of them do not.

Since integration, some of my friends look at me like they are seeing my true colors, the ones I have been told to demure my entire life; the glint of emerald in my eyes, the pearly undertone of my skin, the fire shade of my hair that does not kink no matter how much wax I use or how small I make my braids every night. These colors remind my friends that I have more Europe than Africa running through my veins.

As I find myself often lately doing, I rejoice inwardly, thankful that my family’s name is in the Great Book.

I am great. I am important. I am protected.

A White girl named Tansy, always asking foolish questions, raises her hand and says, “We Euros aint all bad people. Abraham Lincoln was'n the last White Pres'dent of Old America. Abolishuns ended slavery fore the First People revolted. Why all the White people still paying for what our dead great grands did?”

She nods her head toward me and points, “Look at Chanse’s skin and lookin at me. She looks like that; she so bad then?”

I feel the red in me rise, prepared to call her the name we are forbidden to call them. But then, I remember the plans of my grandparents for me, and the expectations of the Elders, and the sad eyes of my mama.

I remain silent.

My best friend, Kaima, throws her pen at Tansy and tells her, “You smell like a dog when you’re wet and you burn in the sun. You lived in caves, ate each other, and had sex with animals. You are stupid and evil.”

She gestures to the Not White people in the room, even Instructor Lee. “Meanwhile, all of our people were kings and queens. We built pyramids, created modern mathematics, and recorded the foundations of language. That’s why, slaver.”

The Not Whites in the class laugh. Kaima never lies.

She is my best friend. She says what I cannot. Her skin is as dark as the night sky during the new moon. Her hair is as soft and billowy as cotton. She wears beauty and strength as her colors. I sometimes envy her freedom. I always love her.

Instructor Lee just shakes her head and tries to finish her lesson. I’m sure she doesn’t want Tansy and her kind here either. Whites are not as smart as the rest of us, and they are always causing trouble. Bussing them in from their neighborhoods to mix with us two years ago caused a storm all over the country-from our nation’s capital in New Orleans trickling down to instructors’ lodges in the 32 states. Quite a few teachers left the profession in protest.

There are rumors that Ms. Lee is also half-caste, but it is not as much of a shame on her as it is for me. Whites in Old America didn’t quite enslave her people. Asiatics came here willingly, and got paid for their labor. Still, during the Great Cause, they, along with the Aztecas and Natives joined the First People-free Blacks like my ancestors and revolted slaves-in battle for the Great Cause.

Today, Not Whites comprise the four Great Tribes of our country. My family sits at the table of Elders in New Orleans along with the other great families. Our names are in the Great Book for helping to end the scourge of slavery and freeing this nation from the evils of the White race.

The First People killed the slave masters and sent those they pardoned back to Europe. The Euros that stayed were placed in servitude to build a new nation. Their debts were eventually paid, but their sins will never be forgotten.

The way I look is a daily reminder of these sins. The sins of my mother for laying with a White man and the sins of my father’s people for existing as a virus on this earth.

I leave History class with my skin feeling hot, and feel the brightness of my colors stifling me.

Kaima and my other friends call my name, but I run down the hall to escape into the sun.

_____________________________________________________________________

Brandon Branch and his friends stand in front of the exit door at the end of the hall. They are wearing shirts with old flags of their ancestors’ native countries on them. Ireland, France, England, Germany, even the old flag of this country before the Great Cause set us all free.

White Pride they call this, wearing old flags, talking about the White tribe as inventors, thinkers, and emperors from a time long ago.

They know these stories they believe are all lies, but they do it anyway. They should let it go. They lost. We won.

We won because we are the First People from where all life sprang. We absorb the sun’s power while all they ever do is feed on our light. We won because we had the might of the Natives, Aztecas, and Asiatics on our side. We won because the drums we brought with us from our homelands in Africa were steadily building to a crescendo of war while they sat fat and lazy in their big houses out of the sun. They beat, maimed, raped, and stripped us of our identities. Yet, we raised their children and cooked their food and built their country with our blood, sweat, and sacrifice.

The songs we sung while in the fields were filled with promises of freedom and vengeance. We used the drums and their silly religion to mask our plots and schemes. We danced at night to rejoice about how we would time soon come fertilize our lands with their blood.

The ancestors looked to Haiti as an example, a nation shining as a beacon of hope that the masters could be defeated. Toussaint Louverture’s victory inspired them to first throw off their mental chains of bondage. They waited one generation, prepping their children to slowly poison and make complacent the White masters.

When the war drums sounded, the melanin tribes of Old America rose up. We killed the first borns, the fathers, and the mothers. Most of those left were the babies who knew more of the slaves than they did of their own dead families.

The slavers who lived, they either fled across the ocean in defeat or stayed and became servants to us. We rebuilt this country in our images. Their numbers will never again swell. The Elders ensure this.

They can never be trusted again, and they never will be.

To know I come from that blood disgusts me.

For that, I sometimes hate my mother.

For that, I will never acknowledge Brandon Branch or any man like him.

He winks at me, blowing a kiss as I push past him and his friends to find the sun. He foolishly flirts. He must not know that I could tell my Granpapa and by dawn he would be hanging from a tree in the bayou, his penis stuffed into his mouth as both a warning and a curse.

I wonder that I won’t.

I look down at the ring on my right hand. Its colors glint in the sun. Mama gave it to me the night I first danced with Oshun in the swamp like all the women in my family have before me, even before we were free.

The sun I was raised to worship comforts me as does the ring winking and twinkling on my hand. Its gems are the colors of the flag; blue, green, red, black. Blue for the ocean we crossed. Green for the land. Red for the blood. Black to honor the ancestors.

Colors comfort me like sweeties or prayers or a song.

For some reason, I think of my daddy. He saw me once a year in secret until I learned my name’s true meaning. That is when I asked Mama to stop taking me to see him. Then I asked him to stop calling. Then to even stop writing.

Then he died.

The last time I saw him he told me it was good my skin had darkened from the sun. He said it was good that my hair curled, even under water. He told me to press my thumb down hard on my nose every day to make it rounder, flatter, less like his.

I laughed at him, but even then, I could see in his eyes that he hoped it would work.

It didn’t.

_____________________________________________________________________

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Written by Selahkx in portal Fiction
Not White
This is my entry for the Simon and Schuster challenge. It is like nothing I've ever written before, but I like this one most out of anything I've ever penned.I believe American could have become this very easily. Where would you have fit into this society? Would you have the power or none at all? Is Chanse and her tribe evil or just a product of history and environment? Not so easy to tell, is it?
_____________________________________________________________________
Epilogue

I am called lucky.

My skin is the color of the burnt sugar Grann stirs with her old wooden spoon as it bubbles and then cools to make sweeties. They tell me I was born the color of new butter, but Grann raised me up to worship the sun, and until my first blood, she placed totems blessed by loas under my bed on every new moon. This, she said, is what sweetened my blood, pulling up the yellows, oranges, and reds to color my skin’s surface.

My hair is the color of sunlight filtering through a wood’s dying leaves in the Fall. I witnessed a true Fall once, as a Philadelphia child. One Fall jumping in dead leaves I can remember before we were chased back to New Orleans to escape the shame of a baby like me coming out of a mother like mine.

My eyes are green as the grass grows on the first true day of true Summer. Granpapa says green is lucky, like money, like the alligator in the marshlands that once saved his life, like the lushness of the jungles from where the First People first sprang.

Yet, I am not called lucky because my hair, my skin, my eyes worship the Great Mother, Erzulie, and all Her glorious Creation.

My mama named me Chanse, meaning lucky in my family’s old tongue of Creole, despite these things.

I am lucky my family’s name protects me, a half caste baby conceived by a Black woman and White man. There are many who wish someone like me dead, who still want people like me to be disposed of as abominations. That a Black woman like my mother would lay down with a man of the inferior race and conceive a female child is inconceivable. Everyone knows that females of every tribe carry the power and the name. What my mother did was an affront to her power and her name, and to the blood that was spilled to cast the White man back across the sea.

I used to wonder, but I now understand why I am lucky. I now know. In a country where the worst thing you can be is a White man, and the second worst thing you can be is a White woman, I am lucky that the White blood of my long ago ancestors and the White blood of my father did not fully manifest itself in me.

I am lucky, that despite all of the bright colors running through me, I was born Not White.
_____________________________________________________________________
I.

It is my 12th year in school and my 18th year within this body on this earth.

We have never celebrated Euro history before, but this year my school must observe it. With the integration of our school system to include Whites, instructors encourage us to learn with them and understand their history.

We have been taught that before the Great Cause, all White people did was kill, rape, pillage, and steal. They did nothing worth celebrating. All achievements were reached off of the backs of the civilizations they conquered and stole from.

All Not Whites across the world know these truths, yet here I am, listening to Instructor Lee talk about White people’s contributions to our society.

I roll my eyes and look around me to see if my classmates are as bored as I am. Most roll their eyes or make faces back in agreement.

Yet, many of them do not.

Since integration, some of my friends look at me like they are seeing my true colors, the ones I have been told to demure my entire life; the glint of emerald in my eyes, the pearly undertone of my skin, the fire shade of my hair that does not kink no matter how much wax I use or how small I make my braids every night. These colors remind my friends that I have more Europe than Africa running through my veins.

As I find myself often lately doing, I rejoice inwardly, thankful that my family’s name is in the Great Book.

I am great. I am important. I am protected.

A White girl named Tansy, always asking foolish questions, raises her hand and says, “We Euros aint all bad people. Abraham Lincoln was'n the last White Pres'dent of Old America. Abolishuns ended slavery fore the First People revolted. Why all the White people still paying for what our dead great grands did?”

She nods her head toward me and points, “Look at Chanse’s skin and lookin at me. She looks like that; she so bad then?”

I feel the red in me rise, prepared to call her the name we are forbidden to call them. But then, I remember the plans of my grandparents for me, and the expectations of the Elders, and the sad eyes of my mama.

I remain silent.

My best friend, Kaima, throws her pen at Tansy and tells her, “You smell like a dog when you’re wet and you burn in the sun. You lived in caves, ate each other, and had sex with animals. You are stupid and evil.”

She gestures to the Not White people in the room, even Instructor Lee. “Meanwhile, all of our people were kings and queens. We built pyramids, created modern mathematics, and recorded the foundations of language. That’s why, slaver.”

The Not Whites in the class laugh. Kaima never lies.

She is my best friend. She says what I cannot. Her skin is as dark as the night sky during the new moon. Her hair is as soft and billowy as cotton. She wears beauty and strength as her colors. I sometimes envy her freedom. I always love her.

Instructor Lee just shakes her head and tries to finish her lesson. I’m sure she doesn’t want Tansy and her kind here either. Whites are not as smart as the rest of us, and they are always causing trouble. Bussing them in from their neighborhoods to mix with us two years ago caused a storm all over the country-from our nation’s capital in New Orleans trickling down to instructors’ lodges in the 32 states. Quite a few teachers left the profession in protest.

There are rumors that Ms. Lee is also half-caste, but it is not as much of a shame on her as it is for me. Whites in Old America didn’t quite enslave her people. Asiatics came here willingly, and got paid for their labor. Still, during the Great Cause, they, along with the Aztecas and Natives joined the First People-free Blacks like my ancestors and revolted slaves-in battle for the Great Cause.

Today, Not Whites comprise the four Great Tribes of our country. My family sits at the table of Elders in New Orleans along with the other great families. Our names are in the Great Book for helping to end the scourge of slavery and freeing this nation from the evils of the White race.

The First People killed the slave masters and sent those they pardoned back to Europe. The Euros that stayed were placed in servitude to build a new nation. Their debts were eventually paid, but their sins will never be forgotten.

The way I look is a daily reminder of these sins. The sins of my mother for laying with a White man and the sins of my father’s people for existing as a virus on this earth.

I leave History class with my skin feeling hot, and feel the brightness of my colors stifling me.

Kaima and my other friends call my name, but I run down the hall to escape into the sun.
_____________________________________________________________________

Brandon Branch and his friends stand in front of the exit door at the end of the hall. They are wearing shirts with old flags of their ancestors’ native countries on them. Ireland, France, England, Germany, even the old flag of this country before the Great Cause set us all free.

White Pride they call this, wearing old flags, talking about the White tribe as inventors, thinkers, and emperors from a time long ago.

They know these stories they believe are all lies, but they do it anyway. They should let it go. They lost. We won.

We won because we are the First People from where all life sprang. We absorb the sun’s power while all they ever do is feed on our light. We won because we had the might of the Natives, Aztecas, and Asiatics on our side. We won because the drums we brought with us from our homelands in Africa were steadily building to a crescendo of war while they sat fat and lazy in their big houses out of the sun. They beat, maimed, raped, and stripped us of our identities. Yet, we raised their children and cooked their food and built their country with our blood, sweat, and sacrifice.

The songs we sung while in the fields were filled with promises of freedom and vengeance. We used the drums and their silly religion to mask our plots and schemes. We danced at night to rejoice about how we would time soon come fertilize our lands with their blood.

The ancestors looked to Haiti as an example, a nation shining as a beacon of hope that the masters could be defeated. Toussaint Louverture’s victory inspired them to first throw off their mental chains of bondage. They waited one generation, prepping their children to slowly poison and make complacent the White masters.

When the war drums sounded, the melanin tribes of Old America rose up. We killed the first borns, the fathers, and the mothers. Most of those left were the babies who knew more of the slaves than they did of their own dead families.

The slavers who lived, they either fled across the ocean in defeat or stayed and became servants to us. We rebuilt this country in our images. Their numbers will never again swell. The Elders ensure this.

They can never be trusted again, and they never will be.

To know I come from that blood disgusts me.

For that, I sometimes hate my mother.

For that, I will never acknowledge Brandon Branch or any man like him.

He winks at me, blowing a kiss as I push past him and his friends to find the sun. He foolishly flirts. He must not know that I could tell my Granpapa and by dawn he would be hanging from a tree in the bayou, his penis stuffed into his mouth as both a warning and a curse.

I wonder that I won’t.

I look down at the ring on my right hand. Its colors glint in the sun. Mama gave it to me the night I first danced with Oshun in the swamp like all the women in my family have before me, even before we were free.

The sun I was raised to worship comforts me as does the ring winking and twinkling on my hand. Its gems are the colors of the flag; blue, green, red, black. Blue for the ocean we crossed. Green for the land. Red for the blood. Black to honor the ancestors.

Colors comfort me like sweeties or prayers or a song.

For some reason, I think of my daddy. He saw me once a year in secret until I learned my name’s true meaning. That is when I asked Mama to stop taking me to see him. Then I asked him to stop calling. Then to even stop writing.

Then he died.

The last time I saw him he told me it was good my skin had darkened from the sun. He said it was good that my hair curled, even under water. He told me to press my thumb down hard on my nose every day to make it rounder, flatter, less like his.

I laughed at him, but even then, I could see in his eyes that he hoped it would work.

It didn’t.
_____________________________________________________________________
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Written by Selahkx

devastation is

    the man you love

calling you to tell you

    he is having a daughter

with another woman

                   yet...

    and that it will always be

you...

~forgive me, i've been absent from life

selah.k_x

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Written by Selahkx
devastation is
    the man you love
calling you to tell you
    he is having a daughter
with another woman
                   yet...
    and that it will always be
you...
~forgive me, i've been absent from life
selah.k_x
2
2
0
Juice
56 reads
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to Selahkx.
Juice
Cancel
Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by Selahkx in portal Simon & Schuster

Not White

_____________________________________________________________________

Epilogue

I am called lucky.

My skin is the color of the burnt sugar Grann stirs with her old wooden spoon as it bubbles and then cools to make sweeties. They tell me I was born the color of new butter, but Grann raised me up to worship the sun, and until my first blood, she placed totems blessed by loas under my bed on every new moon. This, she said, is what sweetened my blood, pulling up the yellows, oranges, and reds to color my skin’s surface.

My hair is the color of sunlight filtering through a wood’s dying leaves in the Fall. I witnessed a true Fall once, as a Philadelphia child. One Fall jumping in dead leaves I can remember before we were chased back to New Orleans to escape the shame of a baby like me coming out of a mother like mine.

My eyes are green as the grass grows on the first true day of true Summer. Granpapa says green is lucky, like money, like the alligator in the marshlands that once saved his life, like the lushness of the jungles from where the First People first sprang.

Yet, I am not called lucky because my hair, my skin, my eyes worship the Great Mother, Erzulie, and all Her glorious Creation.

My mama named me Chanse, meaning lucky in my family’s old tongue of Creole, despite these things.

I am lucky my family’s name protects me, a half caste baby conceived by a Black woman and White man. There are many who wish someone like me dead, who still want people like me to be disposed of as abominations. That a Black woman like my mother would lay down with a man of the inferior race and conceive a female child is inconceivable. Everyone knows that females of every tribe carry the power and the name. What my mother did was an affront to her power and her name, and to the blood that was spilled to cast the White man back across the sea.

I used to wonder, but I now understand why I am lucky. I now know. In a country where the worst thing you can be is a White man, and the second worst thing you can be is a White woman, I am lucky that the White blood of my long ago ancestors and the White blood of my father did not fully manifest itself in me.

I am lucky, that despite all of the bright colors running through me, I was born Not White.

_____________________________________________________________________

I. 

It is my 12th year in school and my 18th year within this body on this earth.

We have never celebrated Euro history before, but this year my school must observe it. With the integration of our school system to include Whites, instructors encourage us to learn with them and understand their history.

We have been taught that before the Great Cause, all White people did was kill, rape, pillage, and steal. They did nothing worth celebrating. All achievements were reached off of the backs of the civilizations they conquered and stole from.

All Not Whites across the world know these truths, yet here I am, listening to Instructor Lee talk about White people’s contributions to our society.

I roll my eyes and look around me to see if my classmates are as bored as I am. Most roll their eyes or make faces back in agreement.

Yet, many of them do not.

Since integration, some of my friends look at me like they are seeing my true colors, the ones I have been told to demure my entire life; the glint of emerald in my eyes, the pearly undertone of my skin, the fire shade of my hair that does not kink no matter how much wax I use or how small I make my braids every night. These colors remind my friends that I have more Europe than Africa running through my veins.

As I find myself often lately doing, I rejoice inwardly, thankful that my family’s name is in the Great Book.

I am great. I am important. I am protected.

A White girl named Tansy, always asking foolish questions, raises her hand and says, “We Euros aint all bad people. Abraham Lincoln was'n the last White Pres'dent of Old America. Abolishuns ended slavery fore the First People revolted. Why all the White people still paying for what our dead great grands did?”

She nods her head toward me and points, “Look at Chanse’s skin and lookin at me. She looks like that; she so bad then?”

I feel the red in me rise, prepared to call her the name we are forbidden to call them. But then, I remember the plans of my grandparents for me, and the expectations of the Elders, and the sad eyes of my mama.

I remain silent.

My best friend, Kaima, throws her pen at Tansy and tells her, “You smell like a dog when you’re wet and you burn in the sun. You lived in caves, ate each other, and had sex with animals. You are stupid and evil.”

She gestures to the Not White people in the room, even Instructor Lee. “Meanwhile, all of our people were kings and queens. We built pyramids, created modern mathematics, and recorded the foundations of language. That’s why, slaver.”

The Not Whites in the class laugh. Kaima never lies.

She is my best friend. She says what I cannot. Her skin is as dark as the night sky during the new moon. Her hair is as soft and billowy as cotton. She wears beauty and strength as her colors. I sometimes envy her freedom. I always love her.

Instructor Lee just shakes her head and tries to finish her lesson. I’m sure she doesn’t want Tansy and her kind here either. Whites are not as smart as the rest of us, and they are always causing trouble. Bussing them in from their neighborhoods to mix with us two years ago caused a storm all over the country-from our nation’s capital in New Orleans trickling down to instructors’ lodges in the 32 states. Quite a few teachers left the profession in protest.

There are rumors that Ms. Lee is also half-caste, but it is not as much of a shame on her as it is for me. Whites in Old America didn’t quite enslave her people. Asiatics came here willingly, and got paid for their labor. Still, during the Great Cause, they, along with the Aztecas and Natives joined the First People-free Blacks like my ancestors and revolted slaves-in battle for the Great Cause.

Today, Not Whites comprise the four Great Tribes of our country. My family sits at the table of Elders in New Orleans along with the other great families. Our names are in the Great Book for helping to end the scourge of slavery and freeing this nation from the evils of the White race.

The First People killed the slave masters and sent those they pardoned back to Europe. The Euros that stayed were placed in servitude to build a new nation. Their debts were eventually paid, but their sins will never be forgotten.

The way I look is a daily reminder of these sins. The sins of my mother for laying with a White man and the sins of my father’s people for existing as a virus on this earth.

I leave History class with my skin feeling hot, and feel the brightness of my colors stifling me.

Kaima and my other friends call my name, but I run down the hall to escape into the sun.

_____________________________________________________________________

Brandon Branch and his friends stand in front of the exit door at the end of the hall. They are wearing shirts with old flags of their ancestors’ native countries on them. Ireland, France, England, Germany, even the old flag of this country before the Great Cause set us all free.

White Pride they call this, wearing old flags, talking about the White tribe as inventors, thinkers, and emperors from a time long ago.

They know these stories they believe are all lies, but they do it anyway. They should let it go. They lost. We won.

We won because we are the First People from where all life sprang. We absorb the sun’s power while all they ever do is feed on our light. We won because we had the might of the Natives, Aztecas, and Asiatics on our side. We won because the drums we brought with us from our homelands in Africa were steadily building to a crescendo of war while they sat fat and lazy in their big houses out of the sun. They beat, maimed, raped, and stripped us of our identities. Yet, we raised their children and cooked their food and built their country with our blood, sweat, and sacrifice.

The songs we sung while in the fields were filled with promises of freedom and vengeance. We used the drums and their silly religion to mask our plots and schemes. We danced at night to rejoice about how we would time soon come fertilize our lands with their blood.

The ancestors looked to Haiti as an example, a nation shining as a beacon of hope that the masters could be defeated. Toussaint Louverture’s victory inspired them to first throw off their mental chains of bondage. They waited one generation, prepping their children to slowly poison and make complacent the White masters. 

When the war drums sounded, the melanin tribes of Old America rose up. We killed the first borns, the fathers, and the mothers. Most of those left were the babies who knew more of the slaves than they did of their own dead families.

The slavers who lived, they either fled across the ocean in defeat or stayed and became servants to us. We rebuilt this country in our images. Their numbers will never again swell. The Elders ensure this.

They can never be trusted again, and they never will be.

To know I come from that blood disgusts me.

For that, I sometimes hate my mother.

For that, I will never acknowledge Brandon Branch or any man like him.

He winks at me, blowing a kiss as I push past him and his friends to find the sun. He foolishly flirts. He must not know that I could tell my Granpapa and by dawn he would be hanging from a tree in the bayou, his penis stuffed into his mouth as both a warning and a curse.

I wonder that I won’t.

I look down at the ring on my right hand. Its colors glint in the sun. Mama gave it to me the night I first danced with Oshun in the swamp like all the women in my family have before me, even before we were free.

The sun I was raised to worship comforts me as does the ring winking and twinkling on my hand. Its gems are the colors of the flag; blue, green, red, black. Blue for the ocean we crossed. Green for the land. Red for the blood. Black to honor the ancestors.

Colors comfort me like sweeties or prayers or a song.

For some reason, I think of my daddy. He saw me once a year in secret until I learned my name’s true meaning. That is when I asked Mama to stop taking me to see him. Then I asked him to stop calling. Then to even stop writing. 

Then he died.

The last time I saw him he told me it was good my skin had darkened from the sun. He said it was good that my hair curled, even under water. He told me to press my thumb down hard on my nose every day to make it rounder, flatter, less like his.

I laughed at him, but even then, I could see in his eyes that he hoped it would work.

It didn’t.

_____________________________________________________________________

14
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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by Selahkx in portal Simon & Schuster
Not White
_____________________________________________________________________
Epilogue

I am called lucky.

My skin is the color of the burnt sugar Grann stirs with her old wooden spoon as it bubbles and then cools to make sweeties. They tell me I was born the color of new butter, but Grann raised me up to worship the sun, and until my first blood, she placed totems blessed by loas under my bed on every new moon. This, she said, is what sweetened my blood, pulling up the yellows, oranges, and reds to color my skin’s surface.

My hair is the color of sunlight filtering through a wood’s dying leaves in the Fall. I witnessed a true Fall once, as a Philadelphia child. One Fall jumping in dead leaves I can remember before we were chased back to New Orleans to escape the shame of a baby like me coming out of a mother like mine.

My eyes are green as the grass grows on the first true day of true Summer. Granpapa says green is lucky, like money, like the alligator in the marshlands that once saved his life, like the lushness of the jungles from where the First People first sprang.

Yet, I am not called lucky because my hair, my skin, my eyes worship the Great Mother, Erzulie, and all Her glorious Creation.

My mama named me Chanse, meaning lucky in my family’s old tongue of Creole, despite these things.

I am lucky my family’s name protects me, a half caste baby conceived by a Black woman and White man. There are many who wish someone like me dead, who still want people like me to be disposed of as abominations. That a Black woman like my mother would lay down with a man of the inferior race and conceive a female child is inconceivable. Everyone knows that females of every tribe carry the power and the name. What my mother did was an affront to her power and her name, and to the blood that was spilled to cast the White man back across the sea.

I used to wonder, but I now understand why I am lucky. I now know. In a country where the worst thing you can be is a White man, and the second worst thing you can be is a White woman, I am lucky that the White blood of my long ago ancestors and the White blood of my father did not fully manifest itself in me.

I am lucky, that despite all of the bright colors running through me, I was born Not White.
_____________________________________________________________________
I. 

It is my 12th year in school and my 18th year within this body on this earth.

We have never celebrated Euro history before, but this year my school must observe it. With the integration of our school system to include Whites, instructors encourage us to learn with them and understand their history.

We have been taught that before the Great Cause, all White people did was kill, rape, pillage, and steal. They did nothing worth celebrating. All achievements were reached off of the backs of the civilizations they conquered and stole from.

All Not Whites across the world know these truths, yet here I am, listening to Instructor Lee talk about White people’s contributions to our society.

I roll my eyes and look around me to see if my classmates are as bored as I am. Most roll their eyes or make faces back in agreement.

Yet, many of them do not.

Since integration, some of my friends look at me like they are seeing my true colors, the ones I have been told to demure my entire life; the glint of emerald in my eyes, the pearly undertone of my skin, the fire shade of my hair that does not kink no matter how much wax I use or how small I make my braids every night. These colors remind my friends that I have more Europe than Africa running through my veins.

As I find myself often lately doing, I rejoice inwardly, thankful that my family’s name is in the Great Book.

I am great. I am important. I am protected.

A White girl named Tansy, always asking foolish questions, raises her hand and says, “We Euros aint all bad people. Abraham Lincoln was'n the last White Pres'dent of Old America. Abolishuns ended slavery fore the First People revolted. Why all the White people still paying for what our dead great grands did?”

She nods her head toward me and points, “Look at Chanse’s skin and lookin at me. She looks like that; she so bad then?”

I feel the red in me rise, prepared to call her the name we are forbidden to call them. But then, I remember the plans of my grandparents for me, and the expectations of the Elders, and the sad eyes of my mama.

I remain silent.

My best friend, Kaima, throws her pen at Tansy and tells her, “You smell like a dog when you’re wet and you burn in the sun. You lived in caves, ate each other, and had sex with animals. You are stupid and evil.”

She gestures to the Not White people in the room, even Instructor Lee. “Meanwhile, all of our people were kings and queens. We built pyramids, created modern mathematics, and recorded the foundations of language. That’s why, slaver.”

The Not Whites in the class laugh. Kaima never lies.

She is my best friend. She says what I cannot. Her skin is as dark as the night sky during the new moon. Her hair is as soft and billowy as cotton. She wears beauty and strength as her colors. I sometimes envy her freedom. I always love her.

Instructor Lee just shakes her head and tries to finish her lesson. I’m sure she doesn’t want Tansy and her kind here either. Whites are not as smart as the rest of us, and they are always causing trouble. Bussing them in from their neighborhoods to mix with us two years ago caused a storm all over the country-from our nation’s capital in New Orleans trickling down to instructors’ lodges in the 32 states. Quite a few teachers left the profession in protest.

There are rumors that Ms. Lee is also half-caste, but it is not as much of a shame on her as it is for me. Whites in Old America didn’t quite enslave her people. Asiatics came here willingly, and got paid for their labor. Still, during the Great Cause, they, along with the Aztecas and Natives joined the First People-free Blacks like my ancestors and revolted slaves-in battle for the Great Cause.

Today, Not Whites comprise the four Great Tribes of our country. My family sits at the table of Elders in New Orleans along with the other great families. Our names are in the Great Book for helping to end the scourge of slavery and freeing this nation from the evils of the White race.

The First People killed the slave masters and sent those they pardoned back to Europe. The Euros that stayed were placed in servitude to build a new nation. Their debts were eventually paid, but their sins will never be forgotten.

The way I look is a daily reminder of these sins. The sins of my mother for laying with a White man and the sins of my father’s people for existing as a virus on this earth.

I leave History class with my skin feeling hot, and feel the brightness of my colors stifling me.

Kaima and my other friends call my name, but I run down the hall to escape into the sun.
_____________________________________________________________________

Brandon Branch and his friends stand in front of the exit door at the end of the hall. They are wearing shirts with old flags of their ancestors’ native countries on them. Ireland, France, England, Germany, even the old flag of this country before the Great Cause set us all free.

White Pride they call this, wearing old flags, talking about the White tribe as inventors, thinkers, and emperors from a time long ago.

They know these stories they believe are all lies, but they do it anyway. They should let it go. They lost. We won.

We won because we are the First People from where all life sprang. We absorb the sun’s power while all they ever do is feed on our light. We won because we had the might of the Natives, Aztecas, and Asiatics on our side. We won because the drums we brought with us from our homelands in Africa were steadily building to a crescendo of war while they sat fat and lazy in their big houses out of the sun. They beat, maimed, raped, and stripped us of our identities. Yet, we raised their children and cooked their food and built their country with our blood, sweat, and sacrifice.

The songs we sung while in the fields were filled with promises of freedom and vengeance. We used the drums and their silly religion to mask our plots and schemes. We danced at night to rejoice about how we would time soon come fertilize our lands with their blood.

The ancestors looked to Haiti as an example, a nation shining as a beacon of hope that the masters could be defeated. Toussaint Louverture’s victory inspired them to first throw off their mental chains of bondage. They waited one generation, prepping their children to slowly poison and make complacent the White masters. 

When the war drums sounded, the melanin tribes of Old America rose up. We killed the first borns, the fathers, and the mothers. Most of those left were the babies who knew more of the slaves than they did of their own dead families.

The slavers who lived, they either fled across the ocean in defeat or stayed and became servants to us. We rebuilt this country in our images. Their numbers will never again swell. The Elders ensure this.

They can never be trusted again, and they never will be.

To know I come from that blood disgusts me.

For that, I sometimes hate my mother.

For that, I will never acknowledge Brandon Branch or any man like him.

He winks at me, blowing a kiss as I push past him and his friends to find the sun. He foolishly flirts. He must not know that I could tell my Granpapa and by dawn he would be hanging from a tree in the bayou, his penis stuffed into his mouth as both a warning and a curse.

I wonder that I won’t.

I look down at the ring on my right hand. Its colors glint in the sun. Mama gave it to me the night I first danced with Oshun in the swamp like all the women in my family have before me, even before we were free.

The sun I was raised to worship comforts me as does the ring winking and twinkling on my hand. Its gems are the colors of the flag; blue, green, red, black. Blue for the ocean we crossed. Green for the land. Red for the blood. Black to honor the ancestors.

Colors comfort me like sweeties or prayers or a song.

For some reason, I think of my daddy. He saw me once a year in secret until I learned my name’s true meaning. That is when I asked Mama to stop taking me to see him. Then I asked him to stop calling. Then to even stop writing. 

Then he died.

The last time I saw him he told me it was good my skin had darkened from the sun. He said it was good that my hair curled, even under water. He told me to press my thumb down hard on my nose every day to make it rounder, flatter, less like his.

I laughed at him, but even then, I could see in his eyes that he hoped it would work.

It didn’t.
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Juice
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Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse

I sometimes think I have

A sickness

I love the ones who hurt me

I hurt the ones who fight to stay

For too long I've

Addressed symptoms

Now I must root out the strain

I caught the illness

From my mom who

Caught it from her mom

Who caught it from a

Bottle

~generational pain

selah.k_x

10
4
0
Juice
71 reads
Donate coins to Selahkx.
Juice
Cancel
Written by Selahkx in portal Poetry & Free Verse
I sometimes think I have
A sickness
I love the ones who hurt me
I hurt the ones who fight to stay
For too long I've
Addressed symptoms
Now I must root out the strain
I caught the illness
From my mom who
Caught it from her mom
Who caught it from a
Bottle
~generational pain

selah.k_x
10
4
0
Juice
71 reads
Login to post comments.
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