The other day I had a conversation about gentrification
With a gentrifier. We talked about its evils, how
Entire cultures are at risk of erasure, how black
Communities are only worth protecting when white
People move in.
She did not see the irony.
This city is a strange place, we travel in 10 foot
Bubbles living in constant fear of someone
Sitting next to us on the bus. We talk about
The varying degrees of authenticity of our
Pho restaurants, Pho 49, Pho Than Brothers,
No one mentions the country of Vietnam.
I once told someone I didn't want to settle here
And they gasped. I said nothing.
I didn't want to say because
It's too white. Because Seattlites have found
A way to be smug about not being racist,
While continuing to be racist.
Because Seattle has found many ways to give me
This message: You do not belong here,
You reek of loneliness,
You've got another cities sand under your fingernails,
You are never here, you are always pretending
You are home, this is your home now.
Do not light that match,
This is your home now,
where will you go?
to that place we saved you from?
That place where children ran into desert,
Women collapsed inward,
And men grew ten foot beards,
Where will you go?
They will not take you.
You are not one of them anymore,
They will smell the Seattle breeze on your breath,
You have our tongue now, your cheeks
Move differently, your hips are not your own
Light that match, and no one will have you.