I am from a Chinese wok,
of oolong tea and red envelopes,
I am from an orange house with matching shag carpet,
of bitter melon soup, rock cod fish, Church’s fried chicken with a strawberry drink.
I am from raindrops falling on cherry trees in our backyard.
I’m from weekly Chinatown restaurant dinners, playing pinball at the arcades, and summers swimming in the lake.
I’m from always smiling and happy even if something’s wrong.
I’m from, “Don’t shake your leg, it’s bad luck!”, and “Listen to your teachers” and “Stay away from bad people”.
I’m from the religion of work, make money, and bowing down to dead ancestors.
I’m from police sirens outside and keeping all my fears inside.
I’m from ashamed of my heritage growing up-my language, my food, my customs.
I’m from hating my body-my dry skin, my big legs, and the moles dotting my face.
I’m from kissing actresses on t.v. with no kisses at home.
I’m from the weight of ancestors and expectations keeping me shamed and thinking I’m not good enough, the oldest son who’s failed.