they say i was lucky to be born brown.
apparently, the sweetness of my skin just about rivals brown sugar and the golden in my eyes at sundown just drips the word priceless.
thankfully my mom’s habits of feeding me at every waking moment translates into dips and curves where your fingers can feel like god as they run through my valleys.
i smell of mango. the king of the fruits is so fitting imprinting itself on the queen, you say.
my name means two things. singer. smile.
but when you let it drop from your lips like a deadweight, making room for something (read: someone) else, i think less of musical opera and more of soap, in two ways.
first i think of soap operas, loud and stubborn and sharp as knives. the other type of soap is the one i want to wash your mouth with when you say my name less like a song and more like a drug, a curse.
my name has not become a smile or song. at the very best it is a grimace and at its very worst it is nails on a chalkboard (secretly i think my ancestors are the ones scratching it, ashamed of letting myself associate with those who let my name simmer on their tongue)
i am the product of a country within a country, brown within white, eating burgers for lunch and chana masala for dinner. i am born of music dripping from my throat, and swallowed away for rough, coarse vernacular that i will never truly understand.
they say that the worst thing is to have the color of your skin be the reason you are widely hated.
but for a moment sometimes, i wish my brown sugar skin and golden eyes and body’s valleys and queen’s smell would repulse, turn you away like an unwanted houseguest.
sometimes i wish that my brown would be the color that turns you away instead of turns you on and i wish sometimes that i was much too hated than my body much too loved.
my body is honey and the sweet, sickening smell just seems to call your name.
only for you, people know how to say it correctly.