They Call me Oriental

(Inspired by Alysia Kayla Vargas’ “I am Not a Latina”)

They see my eyes as slits.

But these slits are like the sea line,

the depths are full of creepy crawlies

who shout “pork fried rice”

and laugh at the joke

they believe is my ethnicity.

 

Don’t call me your dumpling,

your egg roll,

or your fortune cookie.

Don’t call me your anything.

I am not yours at all.

 

They call me oriental,

as if my whole being

fits into an eight letter word.

They call me oriental,

as if my whole being

wasn’t made of fractals

of light and stars.

They call me oriental,

even though

they shouldn’t call me at all.

Thunder

He was thunder personified.

His laugh roared

and his voice rumbled.

 

He would sing Frank Sinatra

as a lullaby.

 

He drenched himself

in cologne,

nostrils flared and people stared

as the lights went out

vision was unnecessary

in his tidal wave of scent.

 

It rained for five days

and when he went away,

a double rainbow appeared

as if one wasn’t enough.

Fading

Your lips touch my wrist

and leave a tingle trail

up to my lips.

Butterflies spring forth, pale

skin next to mine shifts

with each breath.

 

Angel kissed cheeks

seem to glow in the dark.

 

But his light burns brightest

when his anger shines

and burns, the slightest

tremor rides my spine.

 

With every word, I counter

with two.

With every scream, I answer

with mute.

 

The object of his ire

soon evaporates like water,

leaving him wordless. Tired.

Nothing conveys what really matters

better than a simple silence

after a hurricane.

Warning

Your eyes crinkle like candy wrappers

whenever you smile.

Bright blue shines through soulful windows,

a line of wheat colored lashes stutter.

Candy apple lips curve in a half diamond.

 

Tattoos mark your exterior,

but I’ve marked your organs

burned my way through your veins

until I reached the epicenter of your essence.

My love is simply muscle memory.

 

Your breath is my favorite song,

your heartbeat–the best lullaby.

But don’t be fooled by pretty words,

I’m not like other girls.

My love is like a natural disaster,

it’s addictive, has you swinging from rafters.

 

My wrath is like a tsunami,

I forgive, but don’t forget easy

and if I’ve been wronged, I’ll tear you apart,

carve myself out of your heart

and no gold or honey could ever

stick you back together.

Right to Write

The orangutan leads bleating sheep

to a cliff lip that stretches

over ignorant oblivion.

He scratches to pretend

he knows what flea bites

fee like, but we know he sleeps

on a cloud of Cleveland’s and Madison’s,

though he doesn’t know who they were, only

that he is better than them.

 

He shouts fake news with a sneer,

forcing all the sheep to hear

solid stupidity in their ears.

It rings like a jackhammer,

relief is not imminent,

and neither is salvation.

If he wants to know what persecution

feels like, he should just speak

in front of a mirror.

 

For he sees color as danger,

all colors represent something

he cannot understand.

He is a blank slate of petrified,

screaming to anyone who will hear

of the great old days

while whispering

of the k

k

k.

 

He screams fake news,

but the news answers him

with scandals

and body counts.

His numbers do not add up

when held up against the saving light

of an informed reality.

 

The orangutan would remove

our right to write,

our right to live,

our right to fabricated happiness.

The sheep will bleat,

and the crows will cackle.

Wish for Wilderness

Creaking crackling metal

runs over clacking tracks.

Lights flashes

through windows

and a voice

announces your arrival.

 

Arrival isn’t steady solid being,

it’s a temporary state

as easy to strip away

as taking a single small step.

Arrival morphs into leaving

much too easily.

 

Give me a moonful serenade,

crickets and frogs competing

with silence.

The shadows of tree branches

my only friends.

The light from fireflies

enough to read by.

 

Whispering rivers my religion

as grass bends and sways

to whistling winds.

 

Give me freedom to dream,

and sleep, and love

something wholly other

than you, or me, or them.

 

Give me silence and deafening sound,

give me hope that no one is around

to steal what shouldn’t be possessed.

 

 

Dim Sum

Weathered faces beam across the table

as steam rises from bamboo baskets

which hold the treasures of Ha Gao,

Ha Churn, and that weird gray stuff

that looks like cut up brains.

(It’s actually cow intestines.)

 

Tea spills over cups as liquor

rides a rush through myveins.

They laugh at the dropped food

from shaky chopsticks,

they laugh at the As

that should have been A plusses.

 

Peanuts dipped in sesame sauce

is redundant, like dipping my black curly hair

into my chinky eyes.

They are made of the same damn thing.

 

Full blooded cousins tell me I don’t belong,

I never have, with my lack of an accent,

my lack of demurring, my lack

my lack

my lack

my lack.

I’ll tell you what I fucking lack.

That “oh whatever you want to do,

is fine, honey” that springs

to their lips as soon as

confrontation hits.

 

That “I’m really good at math

but I can’t pronounce my R’s,

ha ha ha”

 

That hate for the mutts,

of those people who had the balls

to escape from the misogynistic culture

by marrying into another, slightly less

shitty culture.

 

That Asian culture,

where a man brings home the bacon

and the women tries everything

available to her to stay

stupid

and

pretty.

 

I’ll take my curly off jet black hair,

my big tits and my handful ass,

my lack of accent and lack of self-hate,

my light wood eyes…

I’ll stay pretty,

but I won’t be stupid.

Garbage

His glare is pronounced

under prominent brows.

They arch like cats

as they stretch their backs.

The hair on my neck points

towards Polaris.

 

What have I done,

that was so very wrong?

 

Cotton dyed plaid bunches

around flabby biceps

as he pictures bending and breaking

a neck, an arm, a leg, a finger.

Since the moment I was born,

disposable garbage.

 

But garbage can’t earn a diploma,

garbage can’t tell you you’re wrong,

garbage can’t have a mind of it’s own,

a will that doesn’t bend to your fists

or your words

or your hate.

 

But garbage can fight back,

can’t I, Daddy?

Spring Serenade

Wild violets and crocuses breathe

life into otherwise bland green.

Bland only until the wind blows,

when the green becomes a lake

of rustling life.

 

Dew drops rest on fresh flowered petals

as finches sing to the universal beat

of footsteps. A hummingbird

flits through the air as rapid

as the heart beat within it’s cavity.

 

Beetles, butterflies, and bees zoom

past your face, the flapping buzzing sound

stops you in place.

Exoskeletons and stingers just aren’t pretty

like the wings of a changed caterpillar.

 

The sun is shining but the sky is slumping,

small pops of waterdrops hit the ground.

You hear them but you don’t see them,

until suddenly, you feel them.

Spring might still be there tomorrow.