I am “Blan”, white person, foreigner,
Taking a different form to each person I pass,
A different face to every set of Haitian eyes.
To the young boys under the old scaffold
I am Santa Claus.
Eagerly thrusting outspread hands towards me,
“Blan, give me a toy! Give me a toy!”
To the high school boys on the corner
I am a dare.
Strutting like a peacock and glancing back to see if the rest are watching,
“Blan, I want you. I want you.”
To the woman selling gingerbread under a white sheet
I am a paycheck.
Setting her wares on the ground and striking a confident pose,
“Make me sell today. Make me sell.”
To the small children on the roadside
I am a celebrity.
Pushing and fighting for the chance to simply hold my hand,
“Blan, take me with you. Take me with you!”
To the old man limping with his cane
I am a happy surprise.
Squinting through cataract-blurred eyes and grinning a toothless grin,
“How are you today, Blan? How are you?”
To the dropouts by the trash heap
I am a target.
Mocking my helplessness as they throw rocks inches behind my feet,
“I wasn’t aiming for you, Blan. I really wasn’t.”
To the lady cooking rice on her front stoop
I am the soup kitchen.
Pointing greedily at the plastic bag in my hand, beckoning to me,
“Gimme something from your bag, Blan. Something from your bag.”
To the men on the bench sipping Prestige
I am a prize.
Lurching my way and gesturing obscenely through the not-yet drunken laughter,
“I love you, Blan. Come sleep with me. I love you.”
To the fellow perched on a moto beside the canal,
I am the invader.
Frowning angrily and muttering to no one through clenched jaws,
“Look how the blan has taken my country out of my hands. Right out of my hands.”
And then I cross the canal,
Into Jubilee, tiJubilee, friendly Jubilee,
Where my many faces fade away and I am
Happily, mercifully Miss Keziah once again.