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
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
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”
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
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
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.”