I am not a minority, I am
little more than two decades old, I

shed names like a load of textbooks sliding,
catching on
the zipper of my parents’ mouths

I eat rice with every meal
not because it is cheap but because it
tastes good with
with sinigang,
with the kaldereta
my mother never taught me how to make, though
I can no longer recall the last time
she sat down with us at
the dinner table

To the men I make love to I am
Dragon Lady
Porcelain Doll
Konichiwa? Anyong-haseyo?
That one local newscaster of the
token persuasion

I am not a minority, but
my children are
even as they exist
dormant in my mouth

because of me
they will never know
that their mother was once just
a girl,
a burden to her parents
a lead in the school play
a colorless white sheet
hoisted high on a metal pole

but for now I am carrying
a fresh water stream in a paper cup
clinging to the alleys between continents
making up fault lines as I
go along


Originally published in The Fat City Review