Prefer Not to Answer

I’ve never been very far from home;
the extent of my world travel halts
as west as the football stadiums of Texas
and as north as the rolling hills of Indiana,
so I find it odd that I’m forced
to either identify myself as Asian/ Pacific Islander
or Prefer Not to Answer.

I would prefer to answer
if the exam was not faulty.

The terms
Asian and Asian-American
are used as if they were synonymous,
like I’m an abnormal citizen,
like I can never be just
American.

Locke said it first,
before our independence became romanticized:
for life, liberty, and the pursuit of
property;
property has always been a precursor
for happiness.

Before happiness,
I must own
the pigment of my father,
I must inherit
the facial plains of my mother,
I must possess
the almond-shaped lids of my forefathers.

I have been found responsible for the existence
of innumerable bodies before me--
but what of their minds?

Our world does not care for what it cannot see.

Artist: Emilia Cruz
By: Christine Lee