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By April Owens

This poem was published in the 2018 edition of Myriad, El Camino College’s literary magazine.

Look at me now
Who do you
want me to be?
Who do you 
expect me to be? 

A serpent catches a glimpse of me
through a stream of smoke
It fills in the blanks of my bronze outline
with a premade projection 
A portrait of fragility 
An easy target 
An oppressed soul 

A stranger holds me at length
She sees my skin
a rough sea of melanin
my hair, a zoo of kinks and coils 
and insists that they be loosened 

A lab coat puts me under
an outdated lens
He sees a paradox, a misprint
As if I’m an outlier 
of some universal truth 

I’m Schrödinger’s cat
in a golden brown box 
all wrapped up in charcoal string

Reach out and open me up 
You’ll find that I 
have no desire to be 

See me now 
I am 
someone you’d never 
imagine me to be


For more info about Myriad, visit: http://myriad.elcamino.edu/

To view the entire 2018 edition, visit: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1V5_R_xIKMhhLmziPtFivk5IdH-qC5YaT/view

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