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.

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.

Bruises

different colors

splash across the canvas

of his body.

 

Blue is surrounded by a greyish

tinge, circled by yellow

that spreads out until all

is the night sky.

 

Stars are cigarette burns.

The only gift he has from his mother.

 

They had seen him with bags

of garbage in his hand.

They must have mistaken

them for signs demanding freedom.

 

 

One,  pipe that weighs a ton.

Two, front teeth crunch under a shoe.

Three, they don’t see him bleed.

Four, their voices roar.

 

He curls into himself

maybe then they won’t see

how his lip bleeds from his teeth

sinking through the appendage,

just so he stays still,

and doesn’t matter.

Natural Response

The beautiful brown girl with the

Heartbreaker eyes and full lips is relaying

The story of the rude man at the ferry

That lugged a glob

Of spit

Only an inch from her shoe.

“That’s disgusting.”

A resounding chorus from all who were listening

Until the white lady with the

“May I speak to your MAN-A-GER” haircut

Rolls her eyes.

“You know who are really disgusting?

Those fucking ‘GINESE’ people.

They should go back where they came from,

Instead of pissing on our WALLS

And speaking their CHING CHONG CHANG.”

Miss, I’ll have you know,

That my CHING CHONG CHANG is

A play on Broadway,

While your BADA BING BADA BOOM

Is reality television for the inbred.

My yellow skin is tougher than your lily petals.

My squinty eyes see more than your baby blues.

And my “quiet” mouth is at least able to

Correctly pronounce the name

Of the country

You can thank for most of the things

You waste your ‘MERICAN money on.