They introduce me at poetry readings
They call me a 'remarkable' woman of color-
as if that could define the ink of my poetry
as if the inner fire in me depended on their analogy
as if the center of my universe was a 'colored' cosmology
as if my sentences were to be read like a warning
as if my color would determine my poem's catastrophe.
I am a woman of color, I am glad to be,
my lines breathe the glory of the Arabian Sea,
I cradle my orphaned country,
The orient begins and ends with me.
I carry in my heart the scarlet shame of my sisters,
A hundred Indian sunsets dissolve in my spring,
My words are a psychedelic offering,
Kings and queens take sanctuary in my dreams,
Rainbows steal their color from my eyelids,
I become the horizon merging into your white skin,
But you wouldn't know a thing.
I am a woman of color. I am glad to be
Your reality is not my reality, you are not me,
I am the holiness of the Ganges. I am Himalaya's destiny.
© Jaspreet Mann. Woman of Color. All Rights Reserved.