Poem for Brian
He came into this world harelip split open,
figured it would help him tell more stories
but was just a baby
with nothing to draw from
so lit lies and fanned them
with the books he got for Christmas
but didn’t read--
scorching his story into
pages penned by white dudes.
Twisted leg set his broken pace,
kept sentences unpredictable--
kept one foot where he was born
by choice, helped him look East
while his stories stayed “too yellow.”
Eventually, eyes turned from slanted to hollow.
Felt his heart swell with
a history no one knew,
didn’t bother to read--
but they liked his stories well enough,
felt sorry that he stopped writing
to lay his head in common ground.
She knows all the words to Weezer,
was Go-Go Yubari for Halloween
and, in her white-washed mind, her chipmunk cheeks are the
the hottest you’ve ever seen
dressing like a school girl-dragon lady-
ex-Asian hyping the exotic East,
Hangul hurts her hands
so she settles for (what she’s pretty sure is) kanji
Reclaims her hanguk saram handle
But failure by any other name
still reeks like rotting from the inside out--
diseased with something awful, incurable
no matter how many yellow-fevered topicals
coat that vapid pout.
Hitchhiking--no, sidestepping--toward self discovery
or identity-reclamation all for popularity--
she breaks a sweat, remains half a hemisphere away--
grows Madame Butterfly wings
but stays grounded, West of anything worth finding,
blathering on to white boys about how much she’s already found,
pukes out a drunken, broken hangul greeting
and doesn’t understand that
solidarity does not make us friends.
She’s unable to speak--no, unable to be,
all her heart’s sob stories about hidden bloodlines
language lost, and guilty conscience
all turn to pathetic cries for sympathy.
The day can’t come soon enough
when she brings those bloodlines out of hiding,
lets her wrong turns pool beneath her
and still can’t tell
if our stories run the same color.