exotic incantations

my accent carries familiarity and intrusion,
tinged with the folklore of aztec ruins
the conquista failed to bury with the relics
your imperialist nature insists you authenticate.
your mask of curiosity and fascination
hides the suppressed desire
to conquer realities blazing with possibility
and to discover the cultural gems we have preserved
by means of fidelity: the devotion to our pasts, our futures,
and our people. the uncovering of the jewels
we fought so hard to defend ignites
your self-led excursion to a realm we call home.
the frantic itch to find the remains of our past
embedded in our modernity troubles you–
to leave without newfound jewels from your
excavation suggests that our culture is lost and
unknown to us, when in fact, it is only
lost and unknown to you.

aleigha

you’re a fast learner–you’re only 5
and you know that beauty
is the best compliment you can give. you’ve
learned that white women should be the
subject of your desire because they are–
princess elsa is stamped on your pink
light-up tennis shoes and her pale, delicate,
features adorn your fluffy purple blanket
that warms you while you sleep.

aleigha, how can i prepare you
for a racially charged world? where
you’ll fight battles for your dark curly hair
and deep skin? how do you prepare to win a war
against yourself?