Swatch Card

MY ARM HAIR IS NOT UP FOR DEBATE. IT IS THICK AND DARK LIKE MY HISTORY.

I HOPE IT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE AND CRUMPLE YOUR BROW. TELL ME AGAIN,

WHO IS EXOTIC NOW?  AND TAKE THAT OFF YOUR FOREHEAD.

DON’T TELL ME THAT MY HAIR LOOKS BETTER STRAIGHT OR TO SMILE MORE.

THEY ASK WHERE I COME FROM THEN DISMISS MY FIRST ANSWER LIKE I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION. LIKE I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE DIRECTION OF THE CONVERSATION. I SPEAK OF HERTFORSHIRE WITH CONFIDENCE YET THEY WANT TO HEAR MIGRATION PATHS AND CLASS.

I SEE THEIR SWATCH CARD.

CATCH HARSH GLIMPSES OF IT THROUGH THEIR SLURS.

DANGEROUS.

BUT NOT AS MUCH AS OUR WORDS. WE DO NOT CRAVE THEIR VALIDITY. THERE IS NOTHING TO HIDE. My skin is drenched in humility as much as it is pride.

I come from ground cinnamon, turmeric and chai. From Swahili and Cymru. Gujarati and grace.

But they demand one place.

One definitive location. One single race.

 

 

Please, allow me to serve this pint, sir.

Now, how does that taste?

haha

 

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bicycle spokes

talk of knitting needles forged from bicycle wheels’ spokes in Nairobi

her stories repeat and consume me wholly

her intonation changes,
if only I had a brain which could contain more than just fragments
of multiple languages I’ve experienced in depth
I cannot accept that she accepts her own mortality
perhaps I’m naive, selfish
but stories are told with such fond vitality
illustrating a city in vivid sounds, shades and scents
decades distance our post scarcity
a different kind of abundance
unquenchable and skewed
limitless wants, normalized greed
she reads and watches over and over
society drowning in itself
broadcasted
flooding our home
watching
as she becomes weary of the next ones’s motives
I anger as they dilute her trust
there is such vitality
the stories repeat
repeat and consume me wholly
my only reference
beautiful accounts in broken English
dappled in Gujarati
seasoned with Swahili
embellished with pride.