I thought whiteness
was something I could grow into.
At sixteen, I aspired to be
a Mexican-American Margot Tenenbaum
reading J.D. Salinger in the bathroom.
I took so many photos of myself
in the hope of finding someone else.
I stare at the shape of my mouth
and find my father.
I stare at my silhouette and find
a matriarchal lineage of longing.
I feed pennies to the cosmic
wishing well every night,
and ask for a sliver of what it is
like to embody desire.
I wish I was the type
of person who says, I don’t care
what other people think,
and actually means it.
I don’t like admitting
that white propaganda
has caked itself onto my brain.
Like a week old sunburn,
I am peeling a little more every day.
Once I swang at the Barbie-shaped
piñata while my tío tugged at the rope.
Her yellow, tissue-paper hair rustled
in the hot March air while the next kid cracked
her rib cage open. My brown friends and cousins
watched her hemorrhage
with strawberry candy
I ate all week long—
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