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You Wore Me

I wore the keffiyeh, an indication of my Palestinian roots, a token of solidarity.

You wore it as a jumpsuit, to make a profit off my history.

I wore my feathered headdress, as leader of my tribe, a token of respect, courage and honour.

You wore it on the runway as a feathery adornment, in a disrespectful manner.

I wore a cross around my neck as a symbol of atonement.

You wore it on your ears, a fashionable ornament.

I wore a bindi between my brows, the seat of ajna, to worship intellect.

You wore it as an addition to your trendy new outfit, a hipster effect.

I wore my hijab as an indication of my faith. A personal stance to be modest.

You wore it for a prank, and in doing so made it a prop for your jest.

I wore cornrows on my head as a way of expressing my religion, my kinship, my status, my ethnicity.

You wore it for fashion, throwing it into unwarranted simplicity.

I painted stories of the dreamtime, a connection to the land.

You print them on pillows and blankets, an advantage to your brand.

Now don’t get me wrong, you can explore my practices.

You can wear my cross.

You can wear my bindi.

You can wear my hijab.

But don’t you dare tell me I’m uncultured.