Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Color Me New

None of us are speaking
English. Pigeons

all up in the cafe.
Ungloved handling

of food. Open
air jumble.

Flies on meat
under an awning

seems sanitary
to some. Repulsive.

Same old same ol’.
Toffee and coffee

don't mix right
in the cup.

Taffy stretched thin
these colors separate

in a so easy snap.

The “Blacks” will rarely make eye-contact with me. Women who look like my Grandmother take me in, sweep their eyes over Winston and scowl. I had one woman ask me point blank - God(dess) bless her soul - if my husband was Black. When I said, yes, she warmed to me immediately, even as her eyes swept over the boy trying to figure out how Black...

The Indians and Middle-Eastern folks smile, get acquainted and look the dreads over wondering where this fits into this European highly defined strata of color. When they realize I’m American, I pass into a whole new world of acceptable contact...even if Black, African Black, Africa touched Black, Nubian Black before Greece browned the Black, some kind of kinfolk Black, Black.

Money Black. Euro-Black. Black to bucks Black. Snap. Color me something without borders.


Mendi O. said...


the "note" is also a poem.

that first line really takes me in.


Mendi O. said...

btw: i meant the first line of the poem None of us are speaking / English, but The “Blacks” will rarely make eye-contact with me. also takes me in.

Mendi O. said...

hi Christina -- I'm still trying to catch up on my blog reading, but I wanted to thank you for linking to my blog. Only thing is -- it's an old blog. My new one is here

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your blog about color. I went to England for vacation in college and was very schoked in a pub when I was asked what I was? I said I was African-American (because to me it's very obvious). no, the strange pub guys insisted-- really, what was i, maybe mulatto? they wanted to know. Mulatto! What century!