Poet's Corner: 'When Friends Find My Doppelganger'

Ethan Rivera

he never has

my mother's nose,

nor my father's skin,

nor did he learn Spanish

from his own last name.

He often looks the way

other people see me

when they aren't afraid,

when my shoes and belt

are still on and I don't have to be

across the country.

His hair is curly,

he wears glasses,

jeans, a beard.

I would never wake up

wondering if his name was mine.

My grandmother would never

call him Mi Lindo.

The brown boy is safer

when he looks like their sons

but not his own.

This is not passing;

this is assimilation.

When their sons

start to look like you,

even when they don’t.