Daily Archives: September 22, 2016

My Face Is Historical Fiction

Post pictures of three fictional characters to describe yourself.
— Facebook meme

If I were to post 
three pictures to describe me,
pictures lifted from fiction,

I’d have to reckon with
the fact that my face
already is itself historical fiction,

average white
superimposed upon
brown churning within — 

by which I mean that I already
look like Mom at first glance
with traces of Dad underlying that,

together creating this face
that I get to call My Own,
this more-or-less real face,

one mild pile of melting pot,
assimilated mask. This face
was already made from scratch

a long time ago, and now
I am being asked to find
three more fictions to name this — 

this half-and-half
all-American mistake of history.
So many to choose from —  

Lone Ranger, Tonto; Don Corleone,
Apache Chief; Mario from Donkey Kong,
Tom Sawyer’s Injun Joe — 

but what of that third picture?
That’s the choice that keeps me up 
at night, that keeps me sickly awake really late.

Calm down, you say.  It’s just for fun.
It doesn’t mean anything. It’s 
just a little something to pass the time —

but when your face
is historical fiction

and it feels like

there are only
twenty pages left,
you’ll try anything. 

It’s only natural.
I’m dying
to see how it ends.