It’s 4:40 am here and I can’t sleep. My mind is racing with thoughts about work, travel, opportunities, and even just the simple fact that I am actually here in South Korea.
In the short month that I have been here, I have experienced a variety of reactions to my appearance and particularly the color of my skin. Many of these reactions have been of pure wonder and genuine curiosity. Some however, have been negative to say the least. They range the gamut from stuck up noses and evil looks to standing on a 30 minute bus ride rather than sit in the only empty seat, which happens to be next to me.
So, I wrote this poem about how I have been feeling about it all. I haven’t written in years, but the spirits moved me this morning. This is a topic I will be writing more about during my time here, but for now this first draft of my poem will have to do! I think I’ll call it, Unapologetic for now. I hope you enjoy!
This skin protects from daggers,
laced with the poison of unconscious selves
(a history forgotten).
It shields from recoils of shotguns, armed with disgust and fear.
Encased in melanated armor, still whole.
Adorned with fabrics and jewelry that recite tales from a different world,
But the real story is in my skin.
It reveals more than everything else.
Uncaring of the discomfort if brings.
Indifferent to the resentment it conjures.
In a sea of pearls, onyx me stands out no matter the place,
And I flaunt my pigment