What are you, she said.
I am human, woman, girl, this is a question I dread.
To be molten sugar, caramelized brown is a sin.
I am all parts of the world, I say
I am every part of the world that I have been.
I am parts of the world
I’ve never seen but have read of,
Caverns and deserts and cities
Explored in my dreams.
Look beyond where your eyes will lead
And White is not all that you will see.
Tasnim Ahmed is a 23-year-old writer and designer living in Washington, D.C. Her website is blog.tvgirlfriend.com.
Sarah Samaroo is a Caribbean-American artist who has also been a professional medical illustrator for the past ten years. See more of her artwork at www.samaroo.com.
The illustration is inspired by the creatures that inhabit and represent the lands which shape the artist’s heritage and history. The imagined beast has the head of a scarlet ibis, the national bird of Trinidad; the body of an Asiatic lion, originally found in India but almost entirely extinct in the wild; the tail of an iguana, like the ones found in stories of her mother’s childhood in Guyana, and the wings of a bald eagle — a symbol of the country in which she was born and raised.