The Yellow Line

By James Seals

Someone suggested
that I am the hyphen,
that I am the dash that connects
W.E.B. DuBois’s double-consciousness;

DuBois’s beautiful concept that allows me
to accurately describe my pain.
I am the hyphen.

Because I am neither Filipino

nor American.
I am the middle.
I am the tick-mark;
the tick-mark that derives

from the literal Greek meaning:
under one.
But, Under who?
The Filipinos who believe me lesser

because I cannot speak
their native language?
Under the American girl
who called me nigger

at a Fourth-of-July festival
because my skin
was darker than her white skin?
I am that line

who agrees with DuBios:
it, too, has dawned upon me
with a certain suddenness

that I am different from others.
Did you know
that Gutenberg originated the hyphen
in his publication
of the forty-two-line Bible?
Though, Gutenberg’s hyphen
was nothing more than a justification,
a separating line,
but aren’t all lines:

the unemployment,
the welfare,
the immigration line,
separators that measures one’s soul

by the tape of a world?
This person who suggested
that I am the hyphen was blind
to my two souls,

to my two thoughts,
to my two unreconciled strivings.
He was unaware
that I am in the middle

warring with my version
of DuBois’s double hyphen consciousness
to keep my self
from being torn asunder.

Category: Fiction, Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing, SNHU Student