Mejorar La Raza: Part 1

Take me to the salon
I cried tears
that turned Mami into water.
I want another second
with a friend, poison disguised as
big smiles and hair soft as silk.
I know she is inside a little
green box, on the highest
shelf away from my greedy
fingers. I want to spread
her across my skin, then
maybe it will be bueno, too.
Smile even though it hurts
when Sandra combs relaxer
through my curls, forcing
it to straighten. Beaten locks
they call me Pocahontas.
Ay, que belleza they praise,
dig into my roots and
pull out the Iberian
from root to tip.
I listen when told not to like
boys darker than me
They tell me:
            We must mejorar la raza.
            We must embrace our Spanish genes.
            We must use their gift to conceal.
            We must erase our blackness
            We are Dominican not Haitian.
I don’t understand.

A newly-proclaimed Bruja from Brooklyn, Krizia is a writer whose Dominican heritage runs deep in her everyday life. She spends her day reading fiction novels and about the occult, drawing comics, visiting metaphysical shops, and playing with her Shih-Tzu, Shiloh. Currently, she is working on a prose chapbook, a memoir, and a graphic novel. Krizia is unpacked in Pittsburgh, PA until she graduates from the University of Pittsburgh. You can find Krizia on Twitter @KriziaIsamar and Instagram @TinyBlueBackpack