Suheir Hammad - Not Your Erotic, Not Your Exotic

Don’t wanna be your exotic
Like some dark, fragile, colorful bird imprisoned, caged in a land foreign to the stretch of her wings

Don’t wanna be your exotic.
Women everywhere look just like me
Some taller, darker, nice than me but like me just the same
Women everywhere carry my nose on their faces
My name on their spirits.

Don’t seduce yourself with my other-ness
My hair wasn’t put on top my head to entice you into some mysterious, black voodoo
The beat of my lashes against each other ain’t some dark, desert beat
It’s just a blink
Get over it.
Don’t build around me your fetish, fantasy, your lustful profanity to cage me in, clip my wings.

Don’t wanna be your exotic.
Your lovin’ of my beauty ain’t more than funky fornication, plain pink perversion.
In fact, nasty necrophilia.
Because my beauty is dead to you
I am dead to you.

Not your harem girl, geisha doll, banana picker, pom-pom girl, pum-pum shorts coffee maker, town-whore, belly dancer, private dancer, La Malinche, Venus Hottentot, laundry girl, your immaculate vessel, emasculating princess

Don’t wanna be - not your erotic, not your exotic.