You — don’t you talk to me about trigger


Because — have you ever felt the sting of a

white classmate cutting down your mother tongue

w/ their own

Do you know how it feels to be

embarrassed by your parents’ “clumsy”

mouths that utter Chinese like water

but sound broken in English.

The next time you blatantly forget

the institutionalized racism

I have felt from day 零(líng — zero) of my life

Will be the day you remember

stifled frustration

Because they didn’t have the

fucking Michigan Daily to air their grievances

Don’t you talk to ME about trigger


Because the 火(huo — fire) in my belly is boiling

and all I want to do is

fight — no, strangle and shake

and kill —

Because the invalidation you force me to bear is

enough to make me forget modernity and my



And —

I cry for days.

For weeks. For years.

I walked to the Law Quad

and laid on the cold abyss of a


and pushed wrists into my

eye sockets and cried.

Because you can stand on your Pier 1 Imports

of an ivory tower and talk about how

much of a liberal/socialjusticeminded

person you are “but…”

But that don’t mean shit

when YOU are not a person of color

when YOU are not the child of an immigrant

when YOU are not queer, gender nonbinary,

depressed, anxious, suicidal and —

May I put my head on your shoulder?

I read your article,

and I am cold from the words.

Do you understand me when I say:

You will never know what it’s like

because you will never be able to

walk in my shoes.

Because my shoes are silk, brocade

or Communist “peasant shoes” for $15 at

Urban Outfitters with MADE IN CHINA

stamped at the bottom.

I know that you hurt too

And I will not be the one to perpetuate

the hurt you have given me.

But you — your people have

shoved me in a terrarium

with the caption: “Me love you long time”

and I cannot

So will you be kind and rewind —

your ideas on politicalcorrectness?

Because the difference between “coddling”

and politicalcorrectness

is as insignificant as

the phrase “I don’t see color”

Can you bend your gangly knees and

position your face next to mine

and try to see your world from my height,

because maybe when you stand close to me,

you will feel how my body seizes

when people write articles on

“why invalidating people’s lives and experiences

are OK”

and I get USAtriggered


Live my life, friends

Live a life where people claim that the

world is getting “too soft”

But you’ve already been cut by its

hard edges

And people like you, don’t know

You cannot or will not see the

bits of cloth, blood, and

memories that we leave behind

I am so tired.

I will not lecture, speak.

Hand me my soul.

“This is where I leave you.”

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