Fareh Malik

Chai

Brown Skinned and Beautiful


 

Chai

 
A white man called me that same tired word
terrorist
(I’m used to it)
what was once an insult
has become a verbal tick in frustration
we were in line at the 7/11
and he had chai in his cup
when he leaned into spiced steam
nose first
he couldn’t even recognize my scent
 
 
 
 


 

Brown Skinned and Beautiful

 
We are the ones who look like the soil in your planters
and the gingerbread men you make on christmas
the ones who are the coffee beans-
your complex order from Starbucks
I am someone who was given
quicksand skin
an excuse for your harsh gaze
to sink in slow
I carry my mothers sweet, chocolate words
and my fathers soot soaked hours of labour
I am the brick for your chimneys and the lumber
sacrificed for the fire—
the spices you came to my people for
blended together in mortar and pestle
concocted the melanin that
you wished you could taste
 
I am the one you raised a gun at
the one you said looked like a threat
this skin was the stage where your appreciation
became fear
from this I learned
no matter how nurturing the tree
people may still bring axes to your trunk
 
 
 
 


FAREH MALIK is an emerging poet and spoken word artist, who is compiling his works for his debut book, “Streams That Lead Somewhere.” See more of his world and keep up to date with Fareh at @FarehMalikPoetry


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