Your skin is beautiful
Yes, I know.
You don’t have to tell me as if reassurance is mandatory in order to assuage the guilt you feel about your lighter hue.
Your skin is beautiful
But you already know.
It’s the exact color of the sea shells surrounding you.
It’s the reason why I watch you every time we hang out.
The way the guys gravitate to you as they flash me careless smiles.
The next day, you ask me why I only talk to white guys.
I answer, “Because they’re the ones who ask me out”.
You look confused and then when the words settle — you shrug and walk away.
I want to walk away too. Into the skin that will free me from the shadow of doubt.
This dark paint that never robs off.
Once I was told that my father married my mother just to guarantee that we all would end up like her. They did the math but didn’t make allowances for me.
I’m really black. I hate smiling. All you see is my white teeth. I’m too black to be mysterious. Exotic. Desirable.
I can’t claim to have Indian blood. I can’t boast about white ancestry.
Once I was told I looked Haitian. That was a bad day. Why not Trinidadian or some Island where the girls look mixed?
You always want to look like you could be tainted with pure blood. Those girls look better. They have that hair! You know, the silky, shiny, curly hair. So pretty!
That’s why guys want them. Especially black guys. They hate black women like me.
The black guys with money wouldn’t be caught dead with a girl like me. They think we fuck better though. That’s all we’re good for. Dark girls belong in the dark.
If I were rich and powerful — I would go for the exotic girls. The ones with bright skin and long glossy locks. They would always be in the light.
I wouldn’t go for the dark girl with the rough hair and broad nose. That’s not appealing.
But white guys want me. I know why. They see the slave girls their ancestors used to fuck. They get off on it. Why else would they want a very dark girl like me? They’ll deny it. But it’s true.
The door opens. She’s back. She’s with him. Wait, it’s a different guy. He’s laughing and when he sees me he smiles. They always do that.
“Hey, you look like that model from Africa”. I perk up. He thinks I’m a model?
“Oh yeah, Alek Wek, right?”.
They’re both drunk and head to the room.
I sit there staring out the window. I want to jump out of that window.
I am so sick of being a very black ugly girl.