white marks mask my nine-year-old
skin from the itch that lingers
after wearing my sa-bai lingers.
golden earrings, ruby flower pins --
the clothes my ancestors wore
leave redness on my skin.
the eye-burning pixels are
they teach me how not to be myself.
their words like crimson cotton-candy,
with the taste of dead roses,
staining my fingers, sticky,
until movement became uncomfortable.
i escape the filtered world that studies the flaws of my features.
reroute to the roots of morning glory and red-chili sown
by my now-gone feminine dexterity.
the nostalgic air imbued by over-spiced-eastern-cuisine
and a touch of cilantro and peppercorn.
but with every breath of the reinvigorating air,
i return to the cotton candy.
to the blue-pink colors on my fingers,
covering my yellow-tan sin.
wishing my deep-brown, “boring”
eyes were honey-glazed.