I am being watched.
They’re looking for a misstep. A frown. A tight lip.
Untamed Ottoman blood wildly runs through me, but I have to stand down.
I show my dimples, I put on blush. I stick to neutral colors.
I wonder if it’s loud enough to be a surrender.
“Are they forcing you?
I won’t tell anyone. I promise.”
The last time I turned on the news was November 8th, 2016.
“What are they teaching you? You’re such a sweet girl,
You don’t actually believe in this, right?”
I say, “I pray when I hear ambulance sirens,
I think of those who passed when I drive by cemeteries,
I pick up stones and sticks on sidewalks.”
When I hear that there’s been an attack,
My heart sinks.
I think Syria first. I think Palestine. I think Iraq. Nigeria.
When I realize it’s happened in a country where lives mean more than a number
When they use his race in the headlines,
I think of the consequences.
The repercussions darker skinned people will face,
When their only crime was to exist.
They ask, “do you ever think about taking it off?”
I’m honest and say, “yes”.
They try to invade my thoughts
But they’re not welcome here,
As much as I.
“I can help you”.
They don’t realize their hands they offer in peace,
are the same ones tightly wrapped around my wrists.
I recognize my privilege.
My skin is a few shades off from being labeled,
But don’t get me wrong, I am no rich football player.
No one will fall for the glove trick in court.
I try to explain.
Then I remember:
They don’t negotiate with terrorists.
By: Kevsar Ulukaya