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Zywa Oct 2023
I was a stranger

when I arrived, I still am --

now that I must go.
Poem "Gute Nacht" ("Goodnight", 1826, Wilhelm Müller)

Collection "On the fly"
Shallow Oct 2022
Your flag
Your pride
Your accent and voice
The way you dress
The way you greet others
Your money

Your hair
Your face
Your tongue and the language it speaks
How you trip over words
Of a language which isn’t yours

But not too much
We already know your name
And your story
All by one look
All before you’re granted a chance to speak

Our children will stare at the gringa who passes
Whose tongue flicks with an anglicized mark
And crowds will glare with eyes of disgust
And shield our children from the alien before us

But we will also stop you in our streets to speak with you
But not because we care what you have to say
Rather because we want to practice your language
And make it ours
So we may criticize you in a way you’ll understand

But you’re here to study
And here to learn
And we want your money but not you in our schools
You take classes with your own kind
And speak with your own kind
And suffer with your own kind

We try to keep you all contained.

You can try to speak Castellano
Or learn how we think
But it doesn’t matter what you do
Every action is already explained
By the fact you’re a foreigner.

Where do you come from?
You couldn’t tell she’s American
By her flag, her pride, her accent and voice?
Your country seems like a different planet
Are you sure you came by plane?

Are you an alien person?
But it isn’t a question of your place of origin
It is of your humanity.
Are you an alien person?


Your name is too American
Write it like this.
Never mind that, it is too hard to say.
Here is a new one.
You only have one surname.
What did you do to disgrace your mother?

Come observe a new culture, never participating.
But we will observe you from across the Atlantic.
And your semi-barbaric ways
Because we know if the choice was ours
We’d house the lady
And you the tiger.

Come to our country where we may serve you poisoned fruit
And send you to our prison-hospitals
Where you will stay in your cell until yellow swims around your ankles
And you cry loud enough to be an annoyance
And when your bill arrives, te haremos confundido por Castellano
Never offering you el lujo a entender
Never offering ni paz ni amistad.

But you chose to come here
You cannot be surprised to you pay thousands to clean your blood off our floors
When you chose to spread your enslavement and war.
You are all so violent to spill so much blood
So barbaric.

Who will believe you if you say you don’t fight?
We see the news of you failing to protect your children
And how Oedipus permeates your state of mind
And the permanence of a confederacy keen on killing Kenyans
You walk your streets ready to spill your brother’s blood
And the blood of a million foreigners as you have done before

You circumcise your sons the moment they cry
And just stop there?
Why not cut off the rest
So your kind may never reproduce?
And your brother may live in awe of you

But we never enslaved nor conquered
Nor cut the hands or feet of any right-doer
Nor colonized, evangelized, or spoke a wrong word
We stayed neutral in war, fighting civil for the civil
Our history is filled with the taste of sweet sugar
Curated by the hands of people who adored us
Violence is all too western
And by that we mean American.

You chose to abandon your land
To study here
And to learn here
To hunt for our money and spend it on alcohol
So you may drunkenly stumble with your own kind
And speak with your own kind
And suffer with your own kind
And play the most dangerous game

A gamble with your money
A gamble with the law
A gamble with your freedom
All contained in a troublesome roulette

Because here the game is always rigged against you.

You are giants
Coarse, crude, and caustic
Who infect every perfect thing you touch
Turning our fine shores to gravel lots
Spitting oil in our seas
And turning our precious wine to water
All for the sake of bettering your newborn nation
Which ***** on the *** of its European predecessors

Wipe your streets with the blood of your children
And the blood of your women
And the blood of every barbarian who dares to hold a gun in the name of freedom
And there will be no one left to sing your anthem

We will eat you and your country alive
And burn your body among our forgotten tyranny
With the victims of our cultural dictatorship
And your country will pay no mind
And your death will be not so much as tragedy as a mere statistic.

Because to you it is life and death.
But to us it is a bet
How long will the gringa last?
Before xenophobia eats her alive
And her last words fall victim to a false deafness
Because this language should not be hers?

Yes, this is a ballad to your loss
The coming of a new era
When the gringa hangs on her cross
With the ashes of white and blue behind her
As her blood spills red
And she looks up to the stars
As her guts spill out
Striped with the acid of her nation

And we will watch as she sells her guts to afford her surgeon
In that country which pays her no mind
In that country which sees her as meat to be hunted
In that country which plays the most dangerous game
In her country who wins the most dangerous game
In her country who saved her life
In her country who she calls home
In her country who wants her home.

And she will cry waving her bloodied flag
Screaming “I’m American!”
Because her heart lies in her imperfect land
In her imperfect home
With her imperfect people
And she has an unfathomable love for her flag
Stained with the blood of a million foreigners.
A commentary on my personal experience with Spanish xenophobia
Anna Mink Mar 2022
An oversexed foreigner; you
play and dom me for fun.
Prefers a physical touch: you.

Inexhaustible you claim to be,
my energetic friend,
then fall asleep on top of me.

Yet I wouldn't change a thing,
my hypocritical fiend;
you're still such a sweet thing.

~ A.M, F.H.
Edited & Published 16th of March 2022.
Written 12th of March 2020.
Zywa Feb 2022
This ramp leads me to

a strange country, a strange life --

Most strange here... am I.
"Vreemd" ("Strange", 2006, Thé Lau)

Collection "Passage Passion"
Jenie Aug 2020
she was for a year or two.
Sweeping floors she recited verbs
"je suis / tu es / il est"
while her fiancé crawled in the army.

Belittled immigrants,
the madam had many,
locking doors at night
to block the son out.

The madam is dead now,
naught but a pinch in the chest
from a street, a play,
a remindful sweep.
Based on a true story in my family.
Rashma Mar 2020
Minimum wage at a sewing factory
the air thick with the smell of cheap dye
and the determination of making ends meet

raising three kids alone in a foreign country
where no one speaks your mother tongue

breaking down the wall of cultural restraints
so your daughter could pursue her dreams
giving her the freedom to soar
even if it meant caging yours

our favourite meals even after a long, hard day
the embracing aroma of spices as we enter the house
insisting you are not hungry
so we could have the last bite

falling asleep to the lullaby of your voice
reading through the crinkled pages of Urdu stories

your endless, fearless support as we grew up
if only we could see ourselves through your eyes

for what you have endured, words can’t express
your resilience, your courage, your love

-to the strongest woman I know
Maria Dash Feb 2020
Isn’t it funny how the earth rotates
But there she is, standing still

A different city, every thing is strange,
But there, she is free

Oh but is it pretty, is it colder, does it feel like home?

Will you come back? Do you miss the place you’ve always known?
Juhlhaus Dec 2019
We soak our travel-weary feet
Together in the deep end of a sea of clouds;
Take pause on the immortal steps
To inhale Yellow Mountain mist,
Coal dust, incense. Smokeless
Digital fireworks and sky-high butterfly facades
Sprout like corn stalks in autumn haze,
While we navigate this land of a billion characters
And more with only a phrase to go on,
Past the shops, libraries,
And reading rooms packed
With a literature only seen;
Poetic place names set
To a music only heard;
Guided by subtext, courteous,
And often as odd
As we find ourselves, on another side
Of a world only passing through.
Musing on travel in foreign places.
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