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Chinese virus.
Disaster, chaos,
beware of the Chinese virus.

News report: another Asian American fallen victim,
slashed across the face with a box cutter, twice,
His crimson blood floods television pixels,
flowing through my veins.
My parents are not shocked.
“Be careful when you go outside,
that could be you.”

The Chinese plagued Great America.
For such atrocities, they must pay heavy prices.
Teach them a lesson.

Life, you have ruined.
My children and I bear dreadful consequences.
Confinement in a concrete crate for months,
almost jobless, lowered wages.
Deaths of thousands,

your hands are the buried blood of my family.
Oh, what have you done to Precious America!
Pay for your race, pay for your nation;
plague is your ominous eyes,
malice sprouts with germs, dirt from your
nasty country.

Stranger, I promise
I am not the carrier of the

A couple of bad apples.
They are to blame
for these incredulous actions.
A good American would never commit such action
or hold such beliefs.
We condemn these criminals,
but citizens of this tolerant land
are innocent.

Bear no innocence
the children prove,
at the elementary school lunch table,

“Why are your eyes so small?”
Roaring laughter from
the finest comedians.

Cursed eyes,
the mirror glares.
Almond slivers,
must you give my secrets away?
Open your eyes, wide like everyone else.
Black ink, smother it thick. Perhaps your eyes will
widen, like that beautiful girl beside me. Then they will
accept you as one of them,
as an American.
Glitter scattered below my eyelashes.
The internet told me
it would make my eyes bigger,

like that beautiful girl beside me.
To no avail, I try and I try.
For better eyes, I will sacrifice
days spent with my mother,
chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day,
the crisp scent of fallen autumn leaves;
happiness, take all you need!

Then arrived another topic of interest: food.
Dogs. “Do you eat dogs?”

No wonder they hate me.
They must think me a savage barbarian,
a foreigner,
released into the civil, advanced world of Great America.
Denial deems futile, helpless.
These beliefs
already absorbed into the American soul.

I crave, like the most powerful drug.
It might even save my life

at a subway station.
Dirt ridden ground, abandoned pizza slice with pepperonis
scattered around, smashed, half bitten.
Rotten candle, air is filled.
Rushing passersby,
high heels, click, clack, click, clack,
angry voicemail, a displeased lawyer.
Tender kisses, teenagers in love.
The charm of New York City I have always adored.

Then I remembered a few of the incidents,
Michelle Go, Christina Yuna Lee.
I could be the next in line.
A ticking bomb that can be dropped
at any time.
Unexpected, unprovoked.

stop being paranoid.

Walking in the center of the platform,
the limited flooring seemed to be shrinking.
Scared little dove
trapped in a shrinking box, threatening to
kill at any second.
There are no obstacles providing protection,
no barriers I can cling upon,
just in case. Spotted is a

rusted metal trash can, littered with
shiny aluminum cans,
cracked glass bottles into shards of warped mirror,
wrinkly plastic bags abandoned, a few chips left spill from it.
Wretched smell from spoiled food.
A gift.
A barrier
protecting me, if an unknown hand reached for my foreign body
and pushed me into the train track,
and a train would come towards me,
shining bright with headlights.
I could hold on
to the beautiful trash can and live.

I did not want to complain.
I have no right;
I am, after all, a model minority.
Put your head down,

keep working
like your ancestors did,
surpassing all others.
Smart, self reliant, hard working;
you live the American Dream!
We praise you, Model Minority,
This far you have come, against all odds.
Put your head down, keep working.
Racism, xenophobia, oppression, you have conqured all! You are
among the fortunate ones.
It is only a couple of assaults.
You can deal with it
like you always have.
Silence, Model Minority.

My father always liked being a model minority.
We all did.
At last, someone sees our hard work
and perseverance;
the struggle we endure
in this great nation.

Now we live the American Dream,
happy, rich,

I promise, I am an
American, just like you.

Do you see me as a person?
Perhaps, I carry a virus from a foreign country
strong enough to kill.
Model Minority, Model Minority,
identity erased
to a singular trait;
into a community
that is vast and varying.

Dear stranger,
I promise,
I am human, just like you.

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