My purple haze

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Breaking news –
you seem to be confused
this process of interrogation
your borderline racist statements
seem perplexed
by the correlation
of the woman you are facing
and a name that’s
Clearly Caucasian.
But let me tell you a thing or two
to set the record straight.

I am purple.
A combination of reds and blues,
and though the hues
aren’t equal
or vibrant in their concentration,
they swirl
into my world
of Caramel.

When I tell you that
Español is my second tongue,
don’t assume it’s been spoken
since I was young.
That Hispanic blood must
run through my veins.
That I
couldn’t have learnt it
for personal gain.
‘But then,
Where are you really from?’
Mate,
I’m from Victoria.
My mother’s name
is Victoria.
And I slid,
through the lips of her vulva
onto the pathway of success.

‘You’re quite well spoken
for someone of your kind.’
And there you are
reminding me
that if you closed your eyes
and listened to the colours of my words
the face you see before you
is not the same one that you heard.

Now I won’t deny that
the coloniser’s blood runs
thicker through my veins.
More than my cultural misidentity could proclaim.
But I am not your coconut,
Coffee stained shell and
white inside.
My insides,
tell me that yoga is a
Cultural Appropriation
My soul cannot commit.
My insides,
wonder what part
my intersectional journey
has in my success.
Were my name less white
would I have less?
My insides
wonder whether it’s okay
for me to identify with a
Woman of Colour.
Several shades and continents
apart from mine.
Because what place does my
Biracial
Bisexual
Borderline, mistaken for bipolar identity have
in this world anyway?
My insides,
are the simultaneous churning
Of Biryani and Pancit Canton
So bite into this.

I am Sri Lankan Burgher,
a combination of Eurasian flavours
that hardly savours
in the .2% of us that
still exist.
In the Fernandez and Vanderwerts,
in a world of
Jayawardenas and Pereras,
I am the cultural dysphoria of Filipino women.
I am more than the
slits of my eyes
I am somehow
Not Asian enough.
And though these thick thighs
don’t run on my mother’s side
You need not
Compartmentalise
the parts of me
that interweave in unions
not of your choosing.

I am not part red
part Blue.
I am purple.
And nothing rhymes
with purple.

 

Charlotte Laurasia Raymond
Charlotte Laurasia Raymond is learning that there is no set way to be a woman of colour. Graced with Filipino, Sri Lankan roots, Charlotte seeks to understand the experience of people who have never felt ‘ethnic enough’. She uses her writing to explore her experience as a first-generation immigrant and the layers of her life that interweave into her identity.

About Author

Charlotte Laurasia Raymond is learning that there is no set way to be a woman of colour. Graced with Filipino, Sri Lankan roots, Charlotte seeks to understand the experience of people who have never felt ‘ethnic enough’. She uses her writing to explore her experience as a first-generation immigrant and the layers of her life that interweave into her identity.

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