What Are You?
I remember as a kid hating that I wasn’t “more Asian”
and that my skin wasn’t fair.
I begged most my life to have pin-straight hair.
I was a “hoarder’s cluttered garage”-style hodgepodge
of cultural paradox and ethnic shocks.
My Hispanic, Black, white, and native roots mélange-d
with an off-color Taiwanese stain reminding me
of the pain of a father’s absence.
Feeble-minded creeps would stop me
on the street and interrogate me for one inquiry:
“What are you?”
I would set up a pie chart and start departing
upon them my congenital stats when someone asked
until I realized strangers only asked so they knew
how to label me racially.
I initially picked up on this when they’d follow
their first question with, “So, what do you identify as?”
My apologies, I didn’t know
I had to choose for you.
I’m sorry if it’s not easy enough for you
to stereotype me due to my ethnic ambiguity,
but these countless interactions have left
me jaded and dissuaded against the curiosity
of outsiders who only want to know
“what I am” so they have a way of judging me.
So, the next time you see me
and think of asking out of curiosity?
I’ll tell you what I am.
Capable of minding my own goddamn business.