Whenever I hear the phrase
black and brown or people of color
I assume it doesn’t include asians
we’re the only minority
that’s discriminated against
even among minority
in Ivy League schools
Asians are an unwanted commodity.
We’re all Chinese aren’t we
we all look alike don’t we
We’re exotic orientals
massage parlor girls
who will love you long time
cause me so horny.
We’re left out of the inequality struggle
we’re just spat out.
But we’ve had our image ridiculed too
in yellow face racist films
We’re hated just as much but we don’t count.
Taunted mercilessly as kids by kids
and the discrimination continues
with adult racists who never grew up.
We were teased with mimicry
thick pretend accents
eyes stretched into a diagonal slit
Ching Chong, long duck dong
sex slave pussy propaganda,
We’ve had our rights taken away
over and over and over
but Asians remain steadfastly silent.
No marches or street protests
No evidence of disgrace.
Korean immigrant stores looted and burned
in LA race riots while indifferent cops
guarded aristocratic Rodeo Drive
where nothing was ever in danger of burning.
A lineage of accepting the least
Asians made do with and survived
with no outside help
the truth is immigrants
rely on their own hard work
and their own broken backs
keep our heads low
don’t make eye contact
defer and bow
bend like weeping willow
it’s not our fault we eat the blame
and assimilate for inclusion
with plastic surgery permanently shamed
we stained our eyes
with cursed forced fold
Our eyes are not Origami
asian eyelid circumcision.
Alter our native heritage
noses, legs, dye our silk shining heads
our river black hair
abandon all traces of original natural
until it disappears.
Adopt western nicknames
Tom, Dick and Jane
I’m Judy because my parents decided
non Korean speakers would
mispronounce my Korean name
butcher it profane
and they did call me
“Eugene, Yun, Yoon, Goon, Onion”
Onion of all things!
North Americans don’t have to ever try
to learn any other language
but red white and blue.
Asians are accommodating
an invisible hue
into the extroverted alpha noise
with stoic silence.
Repress the pain and violence
Hide the evidence of kicks and bruises
Survive through long-suffering humble bowing.
Wash dishes for less than the minimum wage
iron shirts with ancient chinese secrets
Plant sugar cane, pan for gold
build railroads and walls
open restaurants, convenience stores,
laundromats, old man donut bars
7 days a week without vacations
so your outsider immigrant kids become
outsider Doctors Lawyers Professionals
discreet subtle chameleons
who try to pass for white.
Banana Eggs all over Berkeley
Don’t stand out don’t shout don’t pout
Laugh with your hands cupped
covering your mouth.
Speak with high pitched
programmed on hello kitty cuteness.
Conform to the majority
by finding your designated space.
Keep your head down
during the head count for equality.
Don’t raise your hand or speak up
Never question authority
Burn the picket signs and work for free
Rebuild pyramids by hand,
brick by bloody grip.
Count the endless stars
map the seasons
dip brush into ink.
Weave silver thread gold leaf skeins
break shimmering abalone shells
into cranes and peonies.
Balance food on chopsticks perfectly
Dream meditate reflect beauty
paper fragile windows, silent sliding doors
Rice paddies swimming with iridescent
betas curled in pools of shining water.