They see me, all they do is see me. Because I cannot hide in the wide, open pastures of cruelty. Instead, I crouch down low, and try to avoid their shameful gazes. Their eyes full of judgement.

For some, I am the wrong colour. No matter my clear accent or my birth certificate, I will never belong. This is not my land. Technically, it’s not even their land, but they’re loathe to let me remember that. Instead I am the exotic and the Other.

For them, this veil creates barriers, and not friends. For them, this face is one of millions who cannot adjust, cannot adapt, cannot assimilate.

Every bangle, every spice, every syllable of my difficult pronounce name never lets me pretend to be one of them. For my very skin, my very essence, never lets them forget.

For others, I am the wrong colour. In a sea of pale faced beauties, I am too dark, too short, too fat. No matter my name or my attempts at the language, I will never be them. For I was born here, in a land that is not their own. Instead I am the exotic and the Other.

For them, they do not see the clothes on my body as belonging. To them, I am an imposter, a foreigner to their superior culture of back home, and I will never belong.

Every pair of jeans, every bagel, every word spoken in the language that is not theirs never lets them forget that I will never be one of them. For my essence, so diluted and divided, never fits their pure, perfect mould.

I am broken, the jagged edges of my soul torn, as I try to fit myself to their convoluted puzzles, but in the end I fit nowhere. Am no one.

For some say I am black with white stripes, while others say I am white with black.

As for me, I’ll never know.

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