My Passport to Pain: From Immigrant to Addict

I am from a former British Colony (Hong Kong),

known for being Chinese,

home of exotic gifts and luxuries.


I am from the Rainier Valley,

of respect and black power,

rice and fried chicken,

r & b and basketball,

crime and fear,

family and tears.


I am from an immigrant family,

oldest son of three,

wondering what’s to happen to me,

as I live life in America,

unsure of myself,

hiding my feelings from all to see.


I am from the Seattle Public Schools,

teachers and staff caring,

inspiring and exhorting,

hoping we can succeed.


I am from an Asian community,

of Chinese friends, family, and Christian ministries, 

Giving me a sense of spirituality.



I am from journalism,

where words matter,

impact society for worse or better.


I am from pain,

of culture and shame,

learning silence and fear,

the only means to cope and endure.


I am from cities both small and large,

West coast to Mid-West,

Toledo to Los Angeles,

International and provincial,

backwards and progressive.


I am from therapy,

both client and clinician,

of thoughts and feelings,

generational trauma, loss and addiction.


I am from God,

A new life he breathed,

purpose, direction,

healing, connection,

safe in loneliness and absence,

exalting his presence.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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