100% enough


When grade school offers the classroom
pie charts
we greedily consume
statistically accurate measurements of identity

As I become what I eat, I
learn to slice myself neatly

place myself in boxed packaging
fold corners crisply
smack on a label

I develop a craving for sweet categorization
Years of multiple choice and scantron testing
has me trained in box vision
Everywhere I look there are boxes
bordering pie face charts

So when people ask what I am
as if inquiring into a baking recipe
what they really mean is
What exotic ingredient do you contain?

So I break myself
down for them, crumbling like a sugar cookie
transforming into a sixth grade math equation
2 cups white, 2 cups Asian
blood, bone, flesh and
a pinch of salt, equals what percentage
of white approval?

Splitting at the core
I am shamed for being
too much and too little
at the same time
surveyed like a taste test
questions jabbing
toothpicks through my center

chart reflection obsessively
define attributes
dismantle eyes and hair, height and pigment
what fits into what box with what label
unfurling at seams sewn as hand-me-downs
swirling in a hurricane mixing bowl
with no grasp on the momentum
Would I taste better with an added teaspoon of sugar, cinnamon, cloves?

When I measure myself down
to others
play matching games
with identity
find stale crumbs of shame in every nook
of my body
roll myself thin so I’ll fit perfectly
in the tin provided to me, it takes
a landslide of misconceived ideas
to finally believe
I am enough