tastes like leftover scraps
between my gritted teeth.
tastes like the stale spit
accrueing inside a mouth shut
while feigning gratitude.
tastes like survival
as it is passed down from my mother
and mothers that came before.
sunshine and brine.
my skin does not need qualifiers;
my skin does not need your pity
extra two syllables—
to describe its hue;
and not yours to use
to value your own.
Mutia Assyifa is a recent graduate trying to find her footing in Indonesia after years in America’s Northeast. She is an aspiring public health researcher and staunch intersectional feminist.
Send us your original literary work (short fiction or poetry) for the Belles-Lettres column.
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