by Jaylen Espinoza 


You paint me every day

Since I was born

Tell me what I am 

Who I can be

And not to stray or be torn


The paint is heavy

Each stroke on my canvas 



Yet no one repairs


Colors and textures apply 

And fade

Yet you still paint me

I am in pain


I want to be free 

To paint my own canvas

But you like control

Of what’s on the surface 


I try and I try 

To wipe my slate clean

But yet again you paint me


Till I tear clean


I fall through 

And I am an empty slot

Not their mold

Not their canvas

But an image 

Of them I’m not 


You bicker 

You yell 

You tell me I’m your burden

Walk without “our” paint

Or you’ll be uncertain 


I throw away their splots 

And dash their brushes

Run from their colors

Of black and bruises


As I turn around

I face what I see

DaRk black canvas 

Staring back at me


Who is that darkness?

What is that I see?

That is what raised me

My dark family 


I tell them no more

I don’t want your paint

I can be me

And paint my own paint 


They slowly fade away

Into the blackness they belong

I open the door

And hear a new song 


New paint and new colors

New doors and new people

Vibrant colors and pastels 

These are my people


I paint myself blue

I paint myself white

I paint myself pink

Because that’s who I am inside

This poem is about: 
My family


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