The Coffee Bean - Plymouth, MI
By James Beni Wilson
Asians are to be seen and not heard! (some say)
Yellow! Brown! Beaner! Monkey! Foreigner! Rice boy!
Gook! Chink! Wetback of Asia! (all of the labels I once have gone by)
Oohhh Ching chong ling long ting tong!
Utters the culturally inept persons whose blind eyes cannot see (and say “you all look same”)
And whose brain cannot process as to
Who we are!
Our skin color is the same.
Our eyes are the same.
Our hair is black —
Our histories; parallel
But we are not the same.
To you — we are not the same.
Our tongues speak the words of our ancestors.
Many different dialects and languages.
Linguistics of pain, anger, endearment, strengths and transformation.
I am not the voice for us all
But I am a voice amongst a collection
A collection who tells their stories
Each life written in a different calligraphy —
A different emotion behind each line that meets another
Stories of alienation, subordination, exotification —
and our eventual exploration.
Exploration of ourselves. Our grass roots. Our seeds that planted us.