I Am Me Amy Le Doan

by Amy Le Doan

I AM ME

Do you eat rice every day?

                                  You watch anime? Do you understand it?”

                                                      You listen to K-pop? Do you understand that?

                                                                              Are you Asian or Chinese?

                                                       Do you speak Asian?

                                 Does your mom talk bad about her nail clients in Viet?

Do your parents want you to be a doctor or lawyer?

                          Are your parents strict?

                                                             Your English is very good. Where are you from?

                                                                                          No, like, where were you born?

                                       Ew, what’s that smell? You eat that?

                                               Are all Asians cheap?

                                                                        Are all Asians smart?

                                                                                                  Do all Asians drive badly?

                                                                              Is it hard to see?

                                           Can you open your eyes?

                                                                 You’re so white-washed.

                                                                                        You’re so Asian.

                                                                 Questions and ideas invade my mind, 

                                                      ‘Who am I?’

                                        ‘What am I?’

                                               ‘Am I Asian?’

                                                         ‘Am I American?’

                                                                    ‘Am I both?’

                                                                I am me.

Amy Le Doan I am Asian-American, Vietnamese-American to be more specific. I was born and raised in America by my Vietnamese parents. Growing up around so many students of different cultures meant that I got asked many questions. Maybe they were never meant to be harmful, or maybe they were. These questions often led to me questioning myself and who I was. I now realize that I am in control of who I am and the best I could do is to educate others about stereotypes and how they can be, no matter the intent, harmful on one’s self-esteem.

Template Spring-Double Issue

Template Spring-Double Issue

by Andrés Sánchez

To You, My Future Lover

One day, I will tell you of my shame,
of how she broke me down.
How my body, thirsty for her love,
led to nights of lonely drinking.
I will tell you how Medusa,
turned my feelings into stone.
How her eyes where only true,
in the dark of our bedroom.

One day, I will tell you about
the morning headaches.
About the times I drank
myself raw enough to believe in suicide.
How I almost took a blade to my wrists
and an unforgiving rope to my neck.
I will tell you how I was too erased from life
to even be seduced by death.

You, will probably look at me
with judgement and uncertainty.
Will question your pursuit of me,
and may want to run back to comfort.

One day, I will tell you how many times
while staring me in the eyes
her tongue denied me in company.
How after three years together,
her answer was still, No one.
I will tell you about the no one I became.
How days and nights blended together.
How knuckles against drywall
made blood drip without pain and
the scar left as a reminder.

One day, I will tell you how I drank until
my tears tasted of her favorite red wine and
blackouts were the only time
my heart stopped wanting her.
I will tell you of pain so deep,
it’s taken years to return back to myself.
I will tell you of my last winter in a basement,
full of moving boxes and regrets.

One day, I will tell you the reasons
I stay away from lovers and their idea of love.
I will tell you the whole story,
it will make you scared for my broken. 
You won’t know what to do with my pieces.
I will tell you why I stopped praying for lovers,
and instead began to pray
for the healing of my shame.

Andrés Sánchez is a native of Mexico City and grew up in Southern California and Las Vegas, NV. Andrés has been actively sharing their poetry in the Los Angeles area for the last three years. They are currently a participant of the Community Literature Initiative Program where they are working toward the development of a manuscript for their first poetry book. Andrés likes traveling, taking photos, and craft beer.