By Karishma Mehta
I get asked daily where I acquired myself. What are you? Where are you from?
I say, “Born in Jersey, East Coast mostly.” No, no, they chuckle. “Where are you from?” Darkness in my skin, the blessing of melanin. Lightness in my eyes that reflect green
like something foreign and rarely seen. The curls of my hair crashing
like waves against my face.
That confusion of “what is she?” in conversation
which usually takes up too much s p a c e. “I am of the earth,” I said. Of the same soil and sun as you. Can’t you see we started in the same home
and grew freely into our own beings?
I simply went left and you went right.
Maybe that’s why I’m brown, brother
and you are white. And with the same sun shining down on us
isn’t it magical the variety we see?
That there exist versions of you
and even more of me? “Nah babe, you look Hispanic or something,” he said.
I sighed y aprendí Español instead.
Karishma Mehta is a rising Indian-American poet. She earned her bachelor’s in Psychology from GWU, and lives in the Washington D.C. area. Her writing creates connections between science and poetry, and focuses on issues like identity, minority experiences, women and youth empowerment, human psychology, and more