i. you can remember the way they watch you. they mean you're not good enough. your skin wants to hide itself. you want to run away from who you are.
ii. you are seven years old. there is a man on the street, screaming. he tells you to speak english. he tells you he's going to rape and kill you and throw your bodies over the border to mexico. "what does he mean?" you ask. you're not mexican. you're chilean. your mother doesn't respond, only tightens her hold on the pepper spray and calls a cab. it whisks you away, and when you turn around for a last look you still see him watching you.
iii. you're 13. in class with your best friend. her skin is white and her privilege shows it. the teacher brings up racial tensions, issues. you both tense. you and her do not speak for two days.
iv. fifteen. you're on twitter, watching tamir rice get shot, a twelve-year-old dead for having the wrong tone of skin. he falls, his toy gun reaching the ground before him. you watch the blood seep into the ground and wonder why.
v. you're alive, and you're angry. you know what you want and you know what you need. you don't hide your skin any longer. it belongs to you and no one else.