brown - joey flores

Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_deux.

brown is not just the color of my skin...
it is the layer of my heritage covering centuries of history... both the
documented and the undocumented...
it is the umbilical cord of my life

brown is not just the color of my skin...
it is the duyan cradling me to sleep
it is the tree trunk I made basketball hoop out of wire hanger, nailed at
both ends... and it is the dirt on my 8 year old feet and tsinelas while
playing... alone... amidst guava and banana trees in standing ovation with every shot...
it is the bora bora paper plane tied with mama’s sewing thread i lifted up
to the sky
it is the 10 peso bill for one week’s worth of allowance
it is the leather belt my parental units used to whip my butt to prove to
me, there is a higher power than the rod…point very well taken
it is the rice in sagada... the pandesal in the morning…the champorado during
rainy days... adobo on rice...

brown is not just the color of my skin...
it is the chocolate used as bait so my uncle and cousin can feast and dine
on my body and innocence... bittersweet...
and it is the bag I unconsciously covered my face with all these years to
hide the shame
it is the stain that revealed the woman in my tiny little body and I
realized the gay girl in me was now a gay lady and yet still ashamed
it is the bottle of san Miguel that drowned my father
it is my father’s casket
it is the camaraderie and freedom I fought for in front of fighter tanks in
it is the suit of a fallen hero of my people on the tarmac
it is my diploma on my mother’s wall

brown is not just the color of my skin...
it is the box I packed my life in when I moved to chicago
it is my ethnicity denied by bleaching with papaya soap and whitening
lotion... to blend in, in this western world...
it is the caffeine pumping my veins to keep up with never-ending bills
it is the brick of the American dream

brown is not just the color of my skin
it is the leaf that paves way to winter breeze
it is the murky water in the wishing well of my sugar coated dreams
it is who I've been... who I've become and who I'll always be...
it is my beginning and my end...
it will be the debris of my existence scattered on mother nature...
it is a saga that goes on for generations to come
it is history unfolding before my eyes
brown is not just the color of my skin
it is more... so much more than JUST the color of my skin

14 yeoj
nice piece!
hi there - thanks for the comment! i'll let the writer know :-) this isn't actually mine. i don't think i can write something as straightforward as this piece regarding this subject matter. happy new year! :-)
Hello! Actually, Joey's online place somewhere brought me here when i noticed and asked if that's her doing some poetry reading or something else. Anyway, do you mind linking your page to mine?
joey linked me?! ahahahaha! nakakatuwa naman. i'll have to look for which site of hers.

ya, this pic is from the november pintig open mic here in chicago. (see nov. 27, 2005 entry) people read and performed their best pieces that night. :-)

ya, i've already linked you... are you asking if it's ok if you added this blog to your links? i hope you mean this... hehehe... if so, by all means, please do. :-) thanks for the thought! see you around again soon.
where is joey's online place?
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