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¿De dónde eres?

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

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