By: Aria Mallare

You can’t hold a color wheel against

My skin and tell me that you

Don’t believe that I’m Asian just because

You think that my skin

Is too dark to paint your walls

You can’t exclude me from the table because 

I don’t “eat cats and dogs” or because my plate is filled with food you refuse to try 

You can’t mix all of my people into a por flavored with your fantasies and delusions

It is not your place to package and label us When you don’t even know what’s inside 

Asia is more than three countries and 

Is home to 4.5 billion people 

My reflection in the mirror is not what defines the blood coursing through my veins 

It is not what tell me where my roots are planted 

Nor is it what draws the branches on my family tree

So do not ask again if I am sure that I am Asian

Aria Mallare is a writer and creative residing in Chicago. Her poem “Chicken Scratch of my Mother Tongue” will be performed as a part of THE LIGHT, Collaboraction’s Chicago Youth Theatre Festival. She wants to live in a world where people actually listen to each other, and hopes to spread love and light through her art.

Instagram: @arriiiaaaa.cm  

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