what are you?

what are you? is a common question.
new yorker comes out more easily than american. perhaps in an attempt to dispel the idea that we’re all ignorant and uncultured. or perhaps it’s a declaration of love for my home city.
china. my asian friends complain that this is almost always the first guess. what is with this assumption that all of our faces belong to one place?
what are you?
human. and no matter where i’m from, no matter how exotic you find me,
i do not exist for you to undress me. even if it’s only in your mind, you make me feel dirty with your eyes; i can feel them.
don’t judge me.
what am i? afraid. that you’re going to come closer, and try to press your body against mine.
don’t touch me.
i’m a stranger. that deserves more respect than you’re willing to give.
what am i?
i am me.
and even if i am afraid that you’re going to come closer, i am not scared to push you away

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