When Sitting in School During Chinese New Year
The bowl of rice
I'd rather not think about
is gathering dust from the air
metaphorically, of course.
And if I look close enough
maybe I could see the sweat blood tears
the farmer put in to plant the rice.
like the poem written by Li Bai or someone akin to him
how we should all appreciate the food on our table.
But what he's really saying is that we shouldn't stray from our lineage.
All my life,
living under the mixed shadow/light of America and China
Too American to be in China
Too Chinese to be in America
the Darwinian idea of species
designates Chinese to be separate from America
I always thought
When I grow up, I'll break away
Maybe marry some blond and blue-eyed and move to New York
Looking back and forwards, anywhere but here,
I can't seem to shed this skin
Even though every thought and dream I have
is in technicolor American,
I can't seem to cut away the ancient threads
bound around my wrists and heart
And when I see the wrinkled faces of my relatives
stretching out their arms
to gather me
Shaken from the swoop of the mechanical bird
Hardened by the sleep of pizza and cola
Listless from the bubble gum pop music
Across the miles that separates us,
I cannot help but think,
wo shi yi ge zhong guo ren
I am a Chinese person.
My mind whispers soothingly,
let it be
let it be