Don't Mistake Me


United States
34° 14' 24.1584" N, 118° 30' 56.124" W

I live not for orange chicken,
nor Miss Saigon-style hats.

We left that behind in 1975,
as wide eyes watched tall American soldiers leave the land.
I gave my posthumous blessing to it, burying
the microscopic fragments of my identity with it.

Don't mistake me for my white-washed "counterparts"
where we are fetishized, brutalized, expected to be little more
than China dolls and complacent smiles.

I don't stand for model minority nor 'ching chong.'
My race cannot be standardized like a test.
I stand for me.


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