Once, a boy goaded on by his friends
yelled “BORDERHOPPER” in my face.
(I must have a very large stride, then,
to have hopped the Pacific Ocean.)
To be fair, it was middle school.
Perhaps his geographical knowledge
had yet to develop.
Maybe he thought Asia was in Mexico.
We all make mistakes.
Once, a girl looked at me with concern
and asked, “If you’re from China,
how come you’re not dead?”
(Oh my God, Karen. You can’t just
ask someone why they’re not dead.)
“You know, we’re not actually female-hating,
baby-killing people,” I replied.
She looked at me skeptically.
“Huh,” she said.
It gets worse.
I have been termed “other,” an alien
Whose only purpose in life is to
“steal American jobs” and be
“really frickin’ Communist” and
“wow, you’re an immigrant?
When are you leaving?” because
“Just go back to your own country.”
I came here carrying the
Dreams of generations
Hopes of a family
Aspiration for more
They are weighed down
by the heavy stone of
in their hearts