Put on a pedestal
And admired from afar.
My look, my talk, my sex is mine today.
Becomes your trend tomorrow.
My people’s pain,
Our shared experience.
Labelled, weighed, commoditized
Turned to something I despise.
Never thought that I could
Hate myself more than I should.
How do you sell a culture
To those who were made to hate it?
When Urban Outfitters is selling me,
Let’s all call it metropolitan modern art.
When my memories are priced, positioned, possessed,
I might as well forget.
Marina Ali is a graduate of the University of Texas in Tyler and a Certified Health Education Specialist. She is the assistant marketing manager and poetry editor for Brown Girl Magazine, and the managing editor for Drunk Magazine. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her picnicking in pastoral East Texas, crafting for her sorority sisters, or making food.
Illustration by SPICY member Caseena Karim.