James Lee

James Lee / ,


In the before time
Before everyone was PRePared
We all had to worry

In the before time
Before yoU equals yoU
Love was dangerous

In the before time
Before medication flowed
We waited on our health to wane

Poisoned, tainted
Made to hide
Survivors cursed
To live, to die
Bound and chained
Forever changed

Never normal from the start
Already racially mismatching
Birth-defected, demi-disabled
Eastern in a Western world
With tastes in love
Queer and bent

From here
But not quite
Standing out
Fitting in
Same but different

Would I ever find my place?

Bestowed another…
another gift
another curse
another difference
another shame
another worry
another weight

Invisible illness for an invisible Asian

Belonging a longing
Pushed further still
In looks
In life
In liquids
Even more stranger
Even more danger

Survived Tiger Mom and Dragon Dad
of the Criticism Jungle
On my own in strange new places
With strange new problems
Not wanted there
Not wanted here

No fats
No femmes
No asians
DDF clean only
No response
No welcome
Do you distaste my race
My status
My defection

All i know is your silence.

To myself I had to turn
None like me
I would learn

Eat your rice
Slurp your noodles
Take your medicine
Grain after grain
Bowl after bowl
Pill after pill

Every grain of rice
You must finish!
Every pill
Every day
You must finish!

Piece by piece
Peace by peace
5000 pills (and counting) later

There by myself
In myself
I did see
The silver lining in adversity
The true gift of difference

It set me free.

(end of part 1)


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