Brown

The Book Jacket

brown
is the colour of earth. clay.
of godsent soil. the unapologetic shade
of my ancestor’s toil; my grandfather
on his boat, his leathered skin, bahasa jawa,
melanin. but they’ve been telling me
that you look better in these colours
because some colours
just don’t suit your skin tone
because, you know,
it doesn’t show that contrast
(when the only contrast I see,
is your ignorant thinking
and your honours degree).
then i try to explain. then i laugh it off.
they’ve been telling me that having
fair skin, is more marketable
for marriage, for men,
so please try thesecapsules
and sachets to lighten your complexion
in three days. then i try to explain.
then i laugh it off.
they’ve been telling me
that brown only looks good on you
if you are a bar of chocolate
or fried fermented soybeans
or a pot of curry, yknow?
they’ve been telling…

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