A Banana

The names they called me

When I acted white

Even though I’m Asian


The sound I made

When I remembered

That I’m ¼ White anyways


Not quite the right mix

People telling me who I am

Based upon who my ancestors were

But my dad doesn’t know Japanese

Nor does my mom know Tagalog

My mother

A strong woman

Undermined by racism and sexism

But isn’t truly suffering

Because she has food and a home

That she earned herself

By working hard

Sometimes donating blood to make ends meet

My father

A sleazy cheat

Hyper-romanticized by racism and sexism

But isn’t truly suffering

Because he has food, a home, a family

That he stole himself

By lying coercively

Sometimes lying to his own children


The hell I dreaded as a child

Social awkwardness

Was not due to being shy

I wasn’t even shy

I was afraid

Of the discrimination

The hate

The exclusion

The abuse

That I cut myself off

I’m not cold

I do care

I am listening

But you aren’t

Being hated for being Asian

Being hated for acting White

Told I’m not who I am

Because I was born in America

And don’t speak my languages

And don’t have an Asian last name

The shame I felt

When I was told

 I liked white boys

When my feelings were genuine

The pats I received

When I was seen

With an Asian boy

When the feeling wasn’t there

When I cried

And no one cared

When they cried

And I was there

When I was called a chink

When I’m not Chinese

When I was called perverted

For liking Korean music

When I was called exotic

Because of the color of my skin

I died

I felt dead inside

I felt worthless

Like the inside didn’t matter

Like my value was placed upon the color of my skin and the shape of my eyes and the actions of my ancestors so much that I

Held the cold blade to my throat


But could not slice

And so I moved on

Every day I walked

Bearing the painful weight of my life

No one to carry it with me

No one there to see where the sweat ended and the tears began

No one there to care to hear why I was upset

And no one to stop me

When I stood at the brink of death

But like they say

You can’t kill

What’s already dead

A Banana

Yellow on the outside, White on the inside

But what if it wasn’t white on the inside?

If we didn’t care enough to peel away the skin

Then who are we to judge?

If we are all the same

Then why don’t we feel the same

Why don’t we feel equal

Like a banana, they come in all shapes and sizes

Like plantains

But the issue isn’t the right mass

The issue is

I’m not a banana

I’m a human

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


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