Isn't it magical how
if you look up at the day or night sky
you aren't just looking at the
fluff of the clouds, the rays of the sun, the wings of the birds,
the shine of the moon, the sparkle of the stars, or the black of the darkness,
but you are looking into infinity, eternity, history, and the future?
You're looking into the universe.
You are looking into everything that has ever existed.
You are looking at something that has no ending.
You are looking into the farthest depths of the space.
And even if you don't know it,
even if you don't care,
you're still looking.
And it's looking back at you.
They tell me that I am a coconut.
Brown on the outside.
White on the inside.
The roots of my palm
tree are ingrained across the
span of the planet Earth.
The leaves that shade me
would shade you all too if you let them.
My mother's love; my father's strength.
So why am I a foreigner to all?
To my own people; my shell.
To the white culture that raised me; my meat.
If I am a coconut
how is it that no one wants me
to grow in their home?
They tell me, "You aren't one of us."
You are an American.
But how can that be if I lived there longer than I ever lived here?
They yell to me "Make America Great Again"
But wouldn't it be more great
with more coconuts around?
They celebrate "Punish a Muslim Day"
But don't they know I punished myself enough
everyday of my youth, while wishing I was
a lychee, an apple, a potato even,
but not a coconut. Never a coconut.
Because being a coconut meant
remembering that I would never completely
belong. Not here. Not there.
But they can't break me.
No, not this coconut.
I've continued to grow, and ingrained my roots
in all, while fruiting and flourishing
And learning to belong within
the palm tree I call myself.
Arctic. Tundra. Glacial. Eyes.
Sunny. Light. Burning. Smile.
Safety. Belonging. Dreams. Arms.
These are the words I think of, when I think of you.
As a young girl, I dreamt of swimming in the icy waters of Antarctica.
Now, I just dream of swimming in your glacial eyes.
As a young woman, I dreamt of serendipity in the desert sands.
Now I just dream of the warmth of your euphoric smile.
As a woman, I dreamt of feeling safety and a sense of home.
Now I just dream of belonging in your protected arms.
Maybe one day I will be the reason for the warmth of your smile.
In my dreams, I will belong in your arms.
But for now, all I want, is to swim in the arctic desert that are your eyes
She smiles at me as teardrops gather in her pale eyes.
There is a lump in her throat; her voice is shaky.
I can tell that she is trying to be strong for me.
I know I am trying to do the same for her.
We hug each other so tight,
Feeling the warmth of each other’s skin.
I smell her familiar scent, and take in a deep breath,
Knowing that soon I will forget it all over again.
She says something, but I don’t comprehend it.
I am too focused on remembering the smell of her skin.
I kiss her goodbye on her wrinkled cheek,
And can taste her salty tears.
As I take another step towards airport security,
Another step closer to college,
I turn around and see her waving goodbye.
I open my mouth to yell, “Bye Mom! I love you!”
But nothing comes out,
As we are forced to say goodbye yet again.