I met him in Chelsea, exiting Banana Republic.
His white eyes peered behind silky-crow skin.
He asked if I were from London.
I said, "sort of";
He was of Antigua, "The Small Place."
He spoke of politics versus literature;
I spoke of political literature.
He spoke of Jamaica Kincaid;
I spoke of Frederick Douglass-
both marrying Europeans.
We ate along Christopher Street,
both having lo mein and pork-fried rice.
He said his mother was lighter than I;
asserted his father the color of coal.
His island accent was thick as his lips.
Ashamed, he claimed to be the blackest in his family;
Unashamed, I claimed to be of a mixed heritage.
Listening to my words flow
he attempted to distinguish my accent.
I paused, wondering why any of this mattered.