Asian ArtHomeThe Tech Issue

Asian Poetry Review

By February 28, 2019 99 Comments

To My Grandparents

Aria Mallare

Sa lola at lolo
Patawarin mo ako
For not being birthed of the motherland
For forgetting the home you will always remember
The way the waves crawled over the sand
The way the mangoes hung like small suns
in your backyard
Patawad
For never learning the language you tell your stories in
and sang your grandchildren to sleep in
For sharing your blood but not your customs
Your skin but not your history
Your DNA but not your heritage
Patawad
For having a different vision of the American Dream
For not being the bilingual Filipina-American
granddaughter
Who will pass down your stories or sing her
grandchildren to sleep in the same language you did
Patawarin mo ako

– ang iyong apong babae ng Filipina American

 

ABCD in Three

Melinda Vel

I.

I won’t bleach my skin
I will cherish my melanin,
Honored when the sun strokes my skin.
I’m brown like the earth
Where my ancestors sowed seeds
Where they cultivated kingdoms
I shine like the rajput
I wrap my arms around myself
Like a gold-threaded sari
And repeat to myself
“Brown Girl, Rani, Goddess”

II.
I’m eclectic.
Telugu-Tamil
South Indian Texas Drawl
Pieced together like a
Stained glass window
Colors and more colors

Like the flowers
Adorning the Gods
My desi roots are buried

Deep in American soil
I grew as a hybrid

I bloomed like jasmine

Star-spangled brown girl

Indian-American

 

III.

Isn’t she lovely?

Perfect and bubbly

A hot cup of chai

Easy on the eyes

She’s so lovely

She glows like the lights

Of Diwali night

Brown girl, you’re beautiful

Don’t let the world bring you down

 

 

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