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Tomorrow’s Voices Today: Rosie Flores

Vitiligo

You’re a brown girl turning white

My pigment is lost in most areas of my skin
I’ve let myself be consumed by one color
When in reality there are millions I find beauty in everyday
I’m not a brown girl turning white
I’m the red, the green with the beautiful bronze eagle killing the snake with its bare teeth
I’m the summer dances with twinkling lights and gold saxophones in the middle of the street
The christmas where Los Reyes Magos put smiles on the future’s faces
Rosarito’s banda norteno playing while the yellow sun set’s
I’m the clear water being sprinkled on the red strawberries and apples
The brown hand fighting off the bees and the ants
The brown girl who lives and rides with millions of people
The brown girl who uses the juice from a yellow or green lemon as hairspray
The brown girl who witnessed death before her
The brown girl
The brown girl
The brown girl with white patches who’s only ever liked dirt roads and dirty toes

You’re a brown girl turning white

I’m the house filled with the la virgen de guadalupe at every corner
Picture frames that are never updated
The long, brown, wooden table that contains mismatched chairs and a deck of cards
The brown clock that never works
The cabinet filled with wine glasses no one ever uses
I’m the thick, furry blue blanket with the lion and the stars
I’m the girl with white skin, green eyes, and small lips
The girl with dark skin, brown hair, and wide hips
I come from bronzed freckles and light skin
The kind that raises two kids on a gender wage gap of 25 percent
I come from working and slaving just to be underpaid
Red roosters as alarm clocks
Blue hummingbirds as snooze buttons
I come from cartoned water and prayers in pocket
Living in a three bedroom brown house with five cousins

You’re a brown girl turning white

No, you only want to get close to me when my melanin is golden
I come from the true savages you forgot to burn
I come from the deeper the melanin, the deeper the slashes
I come from the more you put us down, the more we return
I come from ‘I am not exotic, I am exhausted’
I come from the same city you were born in
I come from you when you came in 1492

You’re a brown girl turning white
You’re our creation that I hate

I’m the brown girl with white patches whose pigment has still lost in most areas of the world
We’ve let ourselves be consumed by one color
When in reality there are millions we find beauty in everyday

I am not a brown girl turning white

I am every color that’s ever been hidden from me

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