I didn’t know I was coveted 
I didn’t know it would feel so uncomfortable 
Moving to this new place 
Where my race made me a face 
on every guy’s favourite magazine
Forcefully, without my own choice 

You see,

I was an Italian man’s dream it seemed 
But his dream - was my nightmare 
Something I fear to share even with myself 
Because it’s still there 
The discomfort 
Like a lump in my throat 

Attention is what I craved 
Yet what I wanted most
Ended up feeling like I was locked in a cave 
An animal whom people guffawed at
Smiled at
Took photos of 
Noticed a bit too much 

Was I being difficult? 
Was I asking for too much? 
Were my cries for them to be blind 
To me, my skin, my colour 
A sin? 

I didn’t know. 

I went there blindsided 
Hurt by the truth 
But moreso confused 
Was I the newest gelato flavour?
Was I their new ‘muse’? 

I didn’t know. 

Was this always the case? 
Was my presence always too overwhelming to face? 

I didn’t know. 
Honest to God, I didn’t. 

I wish I never did 
I wish I remained in my bliss
Ignorance - that is.

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