There are so many words to describe me,
none of them is B.A.M.E.
I've got a foreign name, exotic.
Try to read it before you modify it.
How long have I lived in the UK because
my English is so good, where did I learn it?
My accent is American, it's confusing.
or my accent is too Filipino, quite embarrassing.
How can we come from so far
and be so fluent-- so bizzarre.
My rice cooker is an enigma,
more so the amount of rice I eat, huh?
My spoon and fork don't make any sense to you
But your table knife achieves nothing for me, too.
Why do we dye our perfect black hair?
why do we want our skin to be fair--
why don't we just embrace our God-given tan?
Your president seems like a smart man
Fighting your country's drug war like no one else can
Lastly, "are you a Manny Pacquiao fan?"
It's quite difficult to be a P.O.C.
in a world that doesn't understand our P.O.V.
Why we've immigrated and not always assimilated
Why we've flown thousand of miles away from home
Only to stick with our own
but sometimes there is just some comfort
in not having to explain the way we are
or who we are
and why we are
the persons we are
without having to feel subpar.
will this song
play on repeat?
when will they
justice. this song is called justice. and i will let it play until they hear it.
sticks and stones
will break bones
and a knee will take a life
tear gas and barricades
will need first aids
and rubber bullets will take eyes
signs and chants
dismissed as rants
and a point that will keep being missed
justice is not just a word.
are so tangible
and if we get wet,
we get soaked
but those colours
make paper more beautiful
when will everyone see the beauty?
This country was built on broken backs
yet we still have to crawl on broken glass
Beg for mercy and thank you warmly
when you lift the boot from our throats
lest we come off as uncivilized--
your comfort is worth more than our lives
we fear you
we are afraid to speak up
you attempt to shut us up
with your guns and your teargas
we will only scream louder
how does it feel
to face the monster of your own making?
i am a latinx youth.
i am scared
i have never been more afraid to live in this city.
la is brutal.
America, the land of the free
But not for you
And not for me.
America, where you can dream
In a cell all alone
Because they took the key.
America, the best country
Established with pain
From brown bodies.
America, where you can be
Anything you want
Except a minority.
America, accepting of all
Except the feathered chiefs
Who once stood tall.
America, where you get a call
To hear your black brother
Was seen as nothing at all.
America, where there’s free speech
To protest the Asians
Who are blamed for the heat.
America, where there’s guns and bombs
To get revenge on the “terrorists”
Who were sobbing to Allah.
America, a true mixing ***
And what a place
For children to be shot.
Every time they speak
Of injustice in the streets
A silence is born
We watch the cries of widows
And hide beneath our pale skin
a Japanese tanka
for peace in solidarity
I walk in and three heads turn around
They look me up and they look me back down.
It’s like they’ve never seen a brown girl
On this side of town.
It makes me uncomfortable enough
To want to walk back out that door
But then again I’m in Beverley
And dressed like a bit of a *****.
It seems I’m the only brown girl
Here for another mile
So walking into a pub
Kinda feels like I’m standing on trial.
Their eyes meet mine
But they do not smile
Their looks feel cold
As if they’ve just been told
A dodgy secret about me
And they’re trying to suss out if it’s true.
Even though you hold my hand as we walk through
I feel a distance between me and you.
You tell me that they probably think I’m pretty
But why is it that I suddenly feel ******?
It didn’t look like admiration in their eye
But I brush it off with a sad sigh
I don’t bring it up for the rest of the night
But if looks could bite
These men could’ve given me rabies
But now you’ve rattled me with maybes
‘Cos maybe they want me to have their babies
(Which is a gross enough thought in itself)
But no, I pull my suspicions from the shelf
I can’t deny the wary nature of myself
Because maybe it’s a subtle stealth -
Beer by beer a racist’s inhibitions fall
My brown skin a matchstick
To their flammable racist shawl
I avoid their eyes
But feel their’s burning into my back
I am on edge and ready
Waiting for their attack.
But in the same breath
I am showered with compliments
Some of your friends tell me I’m beautiful
And that they’re glad we’re suitable.
I’m in a pub - I shouldn’t be feeling perpetual doom!
I try to focus but he still stares at me from the bar
He’s at the other end of the room
Yet it doesn’t feel all that far.
People talk to me but I barely hear
What is being said
Because a new question runs
Through my pretty brown head
It clouds my judgment
And leaves my view distorted:
Does he think I'm pretty
Or does he just want me deported?