On the paperwork

On the paperwork, I always mark “other”

I do this to not disrespect my mother,

or her sisters

Hanne und Christa

who are as much Aunties to me

as Joan, Rhett, Fran and Mamie-Lee.

Or my cousins, Simon, Jonathan und Franciska

Who are as much my cousins as Alfon,  Eric and Aliska.

On the paperwork, I always mark “other”

But in public, I’m a “brother”.

When my hair grows out, it grows OUT.

So people think they know what I’m about.

Big butts, hip-hop and fried chicken.

They can’t conceive of the fact that I listen

to Mozart, Udo Jürgens and Xavier Naidoo.

That Rouladen are my comfort food.

And if I really had to choose…

Yeah, I like big butts!

On the paperwork, I always mark “other”

But in the “real world” I’m black!

That means I’ve got to watch my back,

for rednecks and Klan and cops .

And sometimes, redneck Klan cops.

And even though I’m a “brother”

my “brothers” are shooting each other.

Purses clutched tighter

by girls who are whiter

than me,

but not my family.

On the paperwork, I always mark “other”.

Not to be less of this, or more “anything else”

It’s always been about being myself.

Honest and whole, and free

of the stereotypes and the “woe is me”

of the struggle for racial identity.

I’m BOTH… equally!

But when I can only “choose one”

on the paperwork, I always mark “other”.

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