By Niyathi Maya

Does she call herself South Asian
while her tongue forms the wrong sounds,
while she cries at night feeling she's neither
white, nor is she brown? Does she
eat that which she cannot make
and learn it all secondhand,
all the things she wants to know but
cannot seem to understand? Is she lonely
and yet not alone, thinking she's an oddity,
that her skin is lying to her,
that she's not even a she?
How could legs that cannot dance
hold a South Asian in their stride?
It is the things beneath the skin that count.
No sutra's code can be untied.

About Niyathi Maya

Niyathi Maya is a screenwriter, poet, author, musician, stylist, and software product manager at Microsoft. She studied neuroscience and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, where she led a chemotherapy nanotechnology startup.

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