identity

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.






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