am i turning into a white person

or has my sunscreen expired

(because i just found out

in a lapse of adulting

that it does)?

i always saw my ability

to take on colour painlessly

as my birthright

for years, i emerged

from tropical vacations

dipped in caramel

yet unscathed by fire

so imagine my dismay

on discovering twin patches

of marbled watermelon

across my back

i must be getting old

the novelty of burning

so bedevils me

i spend hours picking at my skin

until it peels like ashes

from an early cremation

ten years in new york

i too have become

a melanin deficient ghost