Million Dollar Baby
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Politics and Activism

Million Dollar Baby

17
Million Dollar Baby
StrengthsLauncher

A poem about grappling with mixed race identity, especially as a light-skinned person. This poem addresses the difficulty of having both the colonizer and the colonized inside one body, and how it feels to constantly be fighting yourself and other people's perceptions to find your identity.

--

I was born backwards

Body pulled East and West

My hands held on both sides, and

In the center--

An empty space

A concrete wall

The middle of the ring

I’ve got my gloves on and I’m fighting

I’m looking in the mirrors, I’m checking my hair

In the ripples of the water

In the bathroom sink I’ve got

Two eyes, two eyebrows

Two lips, one nose

I’ve got two nations

Two sides of a scale that is constantly

Tipping on one direction

More than the other

I’ve got light skin

Mountains made of my face, of my freckles

There are rivers full of blood

Full of bodies, full of me

Narcissus in the water, looking

Always looking at my other self

In the corner angling for a comeback

While I hold myself in a headlock

I see my grandmother in my face

White hair, thick lips, dark skin

Big accent

I want to carry her on my back

I want to carry them all on my back

The bowing bodies that are like mine

The ones I push over the side

The ones that lie down in the dirt

Fingers white as bone

As I walk over their stomachs

Crawl towards something new

Something different, a chance

A single opportunity

I pick them up

They fall back down

I’m Sisyphus

I can’t make a difference

I can’t even speak their language

I am a foreign object

I am the thing that does not

Belong I am the word that doesn’t

Sound like a word anymore

I am the trouble with continuity

I am the fat in the meat

You’ve found the bone

And now you’re not hungry anymore

I’m not one of them and

I’m not one of you

I am the girl on both sides

I am the body on both sides

Of a loaded gun, hands raised

Trigger finger

I am the lead in one glove and the

Lilac in the other

Swing big

Knock out

I spit my tooth into my own hand

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