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Where Am I From Originally?

in Identity by

Yeah, well the all-important vetting question,
as if that alone narrates the story of me,
as if we all forgot that if you are not Indigenous,
then my story is your story in this country’s convoluted trajectory.
All descendants of immigrants from another country,
all kneeled at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.

Where am I from originally?
It doesn’t matter really… to most I am only a
BLACK AMERICAN CITIZEN
still waiting and hoping for the
American Constitutional Decree of Equality,
regardless of my birth country.

Where am I from originally?
Only sanctions yours snap judgment of me;
it doesn’t tell you anything about my personality.
It doesn’t tell you anything about America’s main adversity,
namely economic disparity and racial disunity.
It doesn’t tell you anything about why
we still have a race problem in the 21st century.
Why does it matter where I’m from originally?
After all, Africa is the birth country of all of humanity,
where scientists have back-traced the birthplace of the human race,
Africa was the ascension of human evolution and eventual migration,
our sapient ancestral diaspora in the parched deserts of Sub-Saharan Africa!

Where am I from originally?
That question is better suited to a foreigner just visiting this country,
for I, like you, am an AMERICAN CITIZEN,
abiding metastatic racial disharmony,
proving that apart we are a cacophony of caterwauling disparity,
touting that together we can be a harmonious disparate symphony…

Where am I from originally?
Why don’t you use this opportunity to see what makes me unique
rather than what makes me incomplete?
What makes us come alive through exuberant sharing
rather than through discordant sparring?
If you want to know more about my journey,
then ask about what inspires me.
If you want to know more about my journey,
then ask me about my favorite color that is NOT skin color.
If you want to know more about my journey,
then ask me about my lifelong hobby and who I want to be
in this diversely-amalgamated yet still racially-divided country.
Where am I from originally?
Just take time to talk to me and you will see
I am only a light from the womb of the human galaxy,
just like you actually…

 


Jacques Fleury is a poet whose book Sparks in the Dark: A Lighter Shade of Blue, A Poetic Memoir About Life in Haiti & America was featured in the Boston Globe. It’s Always Sunrise Somewhere and Other Stories is a collection of short fictional stories spanning the pervasive human condition. Their topics range from politics to romantics, from sex to sexuality, from religion to oppression. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.