I never intend to dismiss
true philanthropic work, but to
the people who believe saving is
necessary: Trust me, it is not.
To them, I am civilized, a contradiction
to the people they serve rations overseas,
someone to learn from, to gain cultural
competence, to draw contrasts and to relish
in selective similarities. They use me to
hone their ability to generate empathy,
and boast by uploading photographs of
us, I the only person of color on their profiles
smiling, alongside many other snapshots
containing dozens of brown children wearing
clothing donations, huddled around an alien
beacon, faces sharpened by uncertainty.