[Pardon the Interruption]…

...But I'd like to deviate from the daily Parisian round-up and share my new poem with you. Enjoy. Birthright Before I could even learn to appreciate you, I was desperate to shrug you off, this mantle that clung to the nuances of my dark skin like birthplaces and legacies. You were the mirror I was ready to turn …

difficult names.

When I was a teenager, I lied about my name. True story. (Oh, irony.) My old friends once asked me what my middle initial, "O", stood for. I didn't tell them the truth. I didn't want anyone to know my very African middle name. I had visions of them balking and laughing and eyes widening …

from the start.

I've always been different.I entered the world quietly. No crying or whimpering. As a result, the doctor gently swatted me on the bottom. My mother said I turned my brand new head toward the doctor and seemed to gaze at him with disdain. Like, did you just SWAT me, fool? I then responded to the swat with a slight whimper. …