Vanilla Strawberry Shortcake
To call her an alabaster angel would beg the question: Were the others angels, too?
Yes, of course, but she was the only white one in the class, hence the preceding adjective.
She strutted with her nose in the air, flipping her faded gold hair and flicking her wrists.
Her mother, a light-skinned Mexican woman, had her by a light-skinned Indian man
and then she was born a light-skinned little girl in a neighborhood full of sand, pecan,
brown, beige, caramel, clay, chocolate, oxblood, sable, ebony, onyx, charcoal, and black.
Her hair curled like mine, not in tight kinks but in soft ringlets with a few fly-aways.
She was what most white people would call “light olive,” but to the other children was “white.”
When talking about white people, the children would always rush to point to us and say,
“Like Miss Stoddard and Arrielle,” issuing a flush to my face and pushing out the words,
“Let's not talk about skin color. People are people,” out of my twitching, itching mouth.
Because I loved all of my angels, from the alabaster to the sand to the pecan to the brown
to the beige to the caramel to the clay to the chocolate to the oxblood to the sable to the ebony
to the onyx to the charcoal to the black, for their colorless hearts and minds and hands.