Photo by Anna Auza on Unsplash


Where are you from, a person is often asked.
Where indeed? I have no answer.

My eyes are slanted, but I'm not Oriental.
I'm not a rug, don't tread on me.
My jeans are Levi's, but I'm not a stadium.
Don't play games with me.
My feet are blistered, but I don't wear high heels.
I can walk on broken glass.

I'm from California, I say, naive of the social cues.
No, but farther back, they insist.
What do you mean, I reply, and it hits me.

What's a brown girl like you doing in a desert like this?

I lock my jaw, squint my chinky eyes, and say,
I was born in Oakland, California at the Oak Knoll
Naval Hospital on September 18, 1983.
Cut me, I bleed red white and blue.

I don't understand how people see me, and every day
is a struggle to reconcile the world that I belong.
So I don't. Their struggle with me
is not my struggle.

I eat rice with my bare hands and I shoot guns in the desert.
I like superhero movies and pop music.
How you see me is not my problem.
I am who I am and I don't give a damn.

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This tiny — but mighty — podcast celebrates the oral delivery of the written word. My goal is to showcase emerging voices representing their communities and chat with industry folks to show us how to break through and become published poets and authors.

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