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“I’m mixed.”
A pause,
just a second,
barely noticeable,
before the gears begin to turn.
The pinched brow,
the searching gaze,
the uncertain tilt
of the head,
slowly recede in relief.

My new friend now has an answer
and a box
to put me in:
“Oh, like café au lait!”
“Well . . . sure . . . I guess.”
A smile,
a reassuring nod,
and our conversation moves on.
Yet all the while I’m thinking that inside,
I’m not like café au lait at all.
I am a thunderstorm.

On the outside
I am too light
to be dark and
I am too dark
to be light.
My hair is not too straight
nor too curly.
I am right in the middle.
A pleasant blend
of both sides of my family.
It’s a box,
but it’s a safe, comfortable box.
I am a symbol
of unity,
of harmony,
of How Far We Have Come.
The type of kid they now use in ads to sell overpriced leisure wear
and complacency.

But inside
these two sides of me come together
not in peace,
not in harmony,
but in tension
and conflict.
Like a thunderstorm.

If half of me is hot and dry,
the other half must be cold and humid.
My disparate elements clash and contrast.
They fight and repel.
The collision is
disruptive, and yet
for it creates
energy, and, eventually,

I have come to embrace
this storm inside of me
and all of the thunder and wind and rain
and life
it promises.