(Insert label here)

By Fahad Al-Amoudi

Too black for the white kids,
Too white for the blacks,
I’m trapped
In the middle trying to fiddle with
these handcuffs
While a Rice Crispy Sugar Puff tells me to
undress?!
(with no context)
Universally I represent the restless subset,
Gagged between the Venn diagrams,
A diaphragm spent, a lifetime left
Of lectures and lessons
Trying to decipher my complexion,
The Magistrate will never interpret my discretion
But we’re multiplying.
Forms still look terrifying,
Crossing boxes after boxes,
Boxed in like Procrustus’ bed,
Stained with the tears we bled and sweat of fear.
For years the dearly departed bombarded,
The mulatto tar brushed and half-casted
Into a pile of unwanted toys:
The house slave, the sepoy, the Janissary emissaries
Acting as envoys of treacheries,
Trespasses on enemies,
We are the legacy…
Of crime and beauty,
Love and inequalityThe
paradox paramount to our qualities.
We people,
Who are darker than blue
But the spectra spilling colours and it’s draining all
the hue…
Oops. That wasn’t appropriate.
I’ll just stick to opiates,
Angels over the neighbourhood
And my associate dealers.
I associate healers with a quick fix prescription for
this twisted sick fiction
Cause that’s not my reality.
I’m not bound by my post code
I’m chained by a mentality,
You see
I’m just another victim of colourism.
These crowded thoughts getting funnelled
By this tunnel vision, envisioning glass prisms,
Mental prisons, imprisoning my mind
So much
I’m blurring the lines between silence and peace of
mind.
Just want a piece of mine,
No priest or imam trying to bind me to a word,
I’m searching for the verb or adjective
To describe my anguish but there just
Aren’t enough words in the English language-
[You’re beautiful] {but I don’t speak Arabic,
Amharic, Tigrinya or Italian}
I’m sorry.
I don’t know what came over me,
Hopefully this won’t be my eulogy
Cause usually I apologise,
And retreat back into my mental penitentiary.

[spoken in Amharic]
{spoken in Arabic}


Photograph by Tamsin Bracher

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