Black/Filipino

My black culture is lost

I watch television shows of people that look like me

picking up their characteristics, values, and loves

That's so raven envisioned my future,
Dr huxtable birthed my perspective
But the black culture doesn't run on my tongue

Don't roll my tongue cause my native language isn't on the TelePrompTer

My gospels prerecorded

My history's censored

My life's filmed in black and white

My DNA is built out of script writes, light cues and close ups

In a wide angle i look black but

My mother comes from Manila
Scarred arms climbed up mountains
Jumped off into blue blankets of salt water.

The philippines is a land that gave birth to half of my identity
The philippines is the mother land

The philippines is my mother

Her sweat is a waterfall cascading through layte

Determined and elegant

She is art

Carrying buckets of water on her head

Up and down a valley  

That she has now forgotten

My mother has lived in America for 25 years

When I ask her to tell me about my filipino culture

How to say simple sentences,

What was her nanay like when she was young?

What was my late grandfather like?

She says she's forgotten  

She, like so many other filipinos i know

Doesn't take pride in the heritage that she has molded into my being

She fell in love with the american dream

Watered down her past to standardize my future for american chains

But this family tree once extended with no limits.

Now what a dead tree.

So many branches yet no leaves.

Communication with my mother’s family

Is as empty and silent as winter.

A language barrier like cement

Pulls out my roots to pour american sidewalks

I am a dead branch, rooted to nothing

The culture drained to my toes

Might as well be made of dirt…

Or other.

Mixed plate

Mulatto

Mud blood

In my home. In my house.

The mixed plates are cracked

My parents don't speak to each other

No wonder my blood never merges

My mother argues in visayan

My dad only yells in road blocks

When all i ask is

Why do i stand out

Like a black too white

An asian too dark

A skin too smothering

Yet not enough of anything’

Nothing comes out

I need a new color, a new culture

Put a check next to “other”

Other is just a title spoken in another language,

Mispronounced,

Misinterpreted,

It missed the point.

Other is the last box we place ourselves in

The mixture of tongues,

Traditions

Worlds,

Other is just a chain to a classification system,

A net catching wind

Other is an identity

I am learning to live in.

 

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