The Ballad of a Biracial Kid

response to the Daily Prompt: Black

*Author’s note: I’m aware I’m using the word ‘Ballad’ loosely*

 

Come into the world, screaming, crying

10 fingers and 10 toes

The doctor declares you perfect

But he can’t know what’s to come

 

For the world itself can’t fathom

How a person can be two things at once

Black and white together, in one tiny person

It’s too much for their brains

 

Two half pieces make a whole

At least that’s how it’s supposed to be

But as anyone with partial pieces knows

That is never the case

 

Because half is not enough for either side

You’re too light or you’re too dark

People always questioning what you are

Eventually you start responding ‘guess’

 

The self question inevitably begins

Am I enough? White enough, Black enough

Passing privilege weighs heavily

Feeling black but not looking it- Do I count?

 

Black Lives Matter. Does mine?

Can I use my voice to speak of injustice

Do threats on my life earn me enough credits

Can I buy my way into being a legitimate minority

 

Worries about fitting in fade away

This is what I tell myself anyway

I say ‘I can’t change who I am’

But still I wish I belonged somewhere

 

Identity: Nothing

When I saw Identity I thought

Well that’s perfect

Identity is all I write about.

But I thought and I thought and I found

Nothing.

I dug deeper and deeper

Through the autism

Past the eating disorder

Quietly skirting the edges of trauma

Then I swam through the murk of Lake Non-Binary

And still.

Nothing.

I can spit out a

Thousand words on fragments of myself

But they won’t fit together

And I can’t get rid of any of them because they’re

Me.

Turns out too many somethings can sometimes look like

Nothing

 

For now I am content with being

able to identify my fragments

 

And know that as long as I have them

My identity will never be

Nothing.