I was raised in this nation

and at a very early age I knew the power  my skin held.

It held sway over people.

It could in an instant make me the object of scorn

or the recipient of several rounds of gunfire.

It allowed me to shapeshift.

 In fact, it could make me any number of men

simply by fitting the description.

It allowed me to be twice as good at whatever

I tried my hand at, simply because I had to,

or it could make me a miraculous athlete

before having ever touched the court.

It gave me an innate rhythm and musicality

that seemed ingrained in my DNA.

And It allowed me to collude with

the most unsavory figures without

suspicion because after all what else could I be?

My skin disqualified me from any honest work.

It wasn’t until I’d made it out that I saw the

man, that I thought I was, clearly in the mirror.

A man programmed to believe what he couldn’t be

well before he knew who he was.

I was trained to keep my hands visible at all times

and to never run through stores

or get comfortable for fear that my

countrymen may become fearful.

And I would perish.

My belief in such ideas is not what upsets me.

What upsets me is my willing acceptance of such

terrorism as normal.

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