20/20 Hue

Steam pours from thin shoulders

Dimly lit, white tile reflecting moonlight

Beams hit my skin

Slowly, ever so gentle,

Revealing to me a world both unknown

and a truth that scalds 

More than my outer shell, my tinted coating

Is it brown? Is it tan? White? 

Can I even say with confidence its hue?

Under a desk lamp it is yellow

Beneath a tree I am a blueish brown

Within the walls of a clinic I am a stark, pale white

Please tell me what color I am! 

I am told to write what color my skin is

On resumes, transcripts, sign up sheets

Scholarships, ID cards, online profiles,

But within the confines of my mind

The uncertainty of a fragile heart, I-

The steam is cooling now

And the moon reflects condensed water drops

Translucent bulbs which reflect my very hue

What I see is not my eyes, filled with desperation

Nor my lip which quivers and contours with the grip of a tooth

But the shape of a man

With a certain color

That even 20/20 vision

Cannot confirm for my psyche

That of a child who knows not their true hue. 

This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world


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