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Being mixed race feels like / being an overly milky coffee / too tepid / too bland / Bleh take it back I want another one

Being mixed race feels like / having the cops called on you / when you are 11 / for sunbathing outside your house / No Mexicans in the street / Go inside

Being mixed race feels like / being an extranjera everywhere you go / USA, Mexico, London – what are you?

Being mixed race feels like / the word foreigner / spat at you in the street / and shouted at you in your own head

Being mixed race feels like / not belonging anywhere / and the ones that welcome you / want to erase your complexities

Being mixed race feels like / guilt at benefitting from white privilege / and indigestion from the lack of community / because there isn’t one / for you

Being mixed race feels like / people saying to you / POCHA / You are only half / You are not pure / You are poison, adulterated / The word half feels like a knife

Being mixed race feels like / a sense of alienation from / white community / because you are not them / and they navigate the world in a way / you never will

Being mixed race feels like / rejection from your cultural communities / By one upmanship / By tests that you never pass

Being mixed race feels like / growing up speaking Spanish / and playing mariachi since you were in pañales / and being told you are not enough / and don’t fit

Being mixed race feels like / being castigated for speaking Spanish by shop assistants / by your own white relatives / and “friends”/ It feels like your friend’s parents / Telling them not to speak Spanish with you / To learn French, because Spanish is for poor people

Being mixed race feels like / deliberately mispronouncing Spanish words / because you are punished for speaking the language / And having your Mexican family / make fun of your pronunciation / because they don’t see that you are the victim and they are one of the / two rocks you are caught between

Being mixed race feels like / being on the plane to Hong Kong / and the guy next to you asks you if you’re going home / And then there, in the crowds of Kowloon / Finally feeling both lost and safe

Being mixed race feels / fucking exhausting / And I’m tired of being cut into lines and divisions / I am not a fraction / I yearn to feel whole

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