evening musings of a foreign student too far from home

In everything I do I check to ensure I’m not the stereotype
After a day of studying I sit outside on my front step listening to nina simone on my phone
Am I her?
The sad black girl listening to the blues
Sonny’s blues
Somebody’s blues
Am I her?
I used to be carla in a nina mood
But now my position
In opposition
Sets me apart
Sets me up
To be a spike lee joint
Or a girl forest whitaker directed
Perhaps angela bassett will play me
That girl
On the way to school I put in my earrings
They are red green and gold
I am caribbean student in north american world
I am my accent
The jokes I make are evidence of oppression
The angry black woman
I am all the things that do not make me american white rich man
I am opposition
I used to be a fly ass female with funky accessories
I am token
I am can I touch your hair
Your skin is beautiful/Your skin is black
In everything I do I check myself
I can no longer just be
I be as an anomaly
I don’t want to let down the team
Or give the wrong impression
If I do I have a new category
Black radical
Tear away the ingredients
The list of side effects are underneath
Another label
On a front step
In a country where there is actually fall
Listening to androgynous strains from a woman gone by
I wonder
Am I
Home sick foreigner making it in greener lands?
Lonely black girl with bald fuzzy head?
I am carla
But in a land where I am like no other
I am more than the sum of my parts
I am each of the things that make me
Painted across my face and skin
They lay themselves across me daily
Carla is not just carla anymore


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