It seems so innocuous the first few times,
An innocence and an unknowing. It's fine.
"But, I mean, where is your FAMILY from?"
Sure. And I'll explain: that is complicated.
My patience wears out pretty fast nowadays
So I try to bite back all the bitterness
When faced with the expectant empathy
A vivisectionist might spare the dead.
So I dissect myself with a practiced ease:
My mother came from Guyana, a bounty land
She fled so long ago. I never ask her why.
My father wasn't much of one. We don't talk.
Me? I'm from the most hated place on this Earth:
New Jersey. They always seem to expect that.
A simple answer for a simple question,
And I know they only asked because they meant
"How come you don't look like me, so tall and dark?"
And I'd smile if they were honest about it.
The title refers to one way I've heard my skin described. Maybe it's supposed to be like how pessimism and optimism can synthesize to arrive at realism, if realism was a skin color.