When Love Is Not A Feeling But A Color
My father was black and my mother white,
and I, somewhere in between.
I witnessed a love that was not bound by
dichotomous thinking, so in first grade when
the white girl in my class would not sit with me for lunch,
I did not understand why love was not a feeling, but a color.
In ninth grade I read a poem about a girl that
shaved her skin in the bathtub so that she could be
the color of acceptance: white.
Instead, she learnt from the bloodshed that hate
was the color red.
One day in twelfth grade history class, they spoke about
racism. When I told them of my experience, they told me
It does not count because you are not even black.
When I dated my first boyfriend in college, I feared
meeting his parents because of my skin and not because
I did not want them to learn that I could not
cook, nor sow, nor iron their son’s clothes.
When I graduated, I applied for a job.
Anxiety swelled in my lungs like a cup full of water
threatening to spill on to a desk of important papers.
I wasn’t afraid that I wasn’t qualified enough.
I was afraid that I was not good enough.
I had assigned my value to the hue of my skin.
I had learnt that the product of black and white is grey.
And that grey,
is the ashes of love.
By Anita Dutt
Anita Dutt is not a musician but that has not stopped her from trying to play the heartstrings. Her composition of poetry can be found at ww.aribcagesymphony.tumblr.com. She is an Australian university student studying so that one day she can be a part of the healing.