Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Undocumented Poem #2: In Reponse to this Video:

The Video:

The poem:

4/28/10 (By
Christy Namee Eriksen)

An illegal immigrant
looks like a nickel
tails up
on the sidewalk,
fallen out of someone’s pocket.
She looks like pressed bleached sheets
on cheap beds
tucked tight,
a hundred of them
twelve stories high.
I saw one like a mango,
peeled and sprinkled with chili powder
on a stick like america,
layers cut diagonally,
a flower on Lake Street.
She looks like an amethyst grape
plucked by the millions,
stains like bruises
but she’s sorry and she loves you.
He looks like that kid
I don’t know his name
but he sits over
and his lunch stinks.
She looks like a street of Harajuku,
straight cut bang and bangles,
heavy print and bright colors
-oh my bad -
that’s Gwen Stefani!
(She might be legal.)
An illegal immigrant looks like
Chinese Exclusion 1882
Asian Exclusion 1924
Executive Order 9066
Patriot Act 2001
SB1070 five days ago
looks like an angel made of bunk beds and cells
where Chinese men write poems into the wooden wall like it could weather the wait,
looks like a store sign
in 1922
“Absolutely no dogs or Filipinos allowed”,
like 1942 spam
rolled up like an enemy
internment camp sushi.
He is a community tree in the 1930s.
Or the 1940s or the 1960s
who has seen
dead people
to climb on.
He is a boat
in 1492
sailing the ocean blue
He looks like a hill
made of bodies
covered in grass
and a playground,
like a scar
on the bottom of my feet,
still growing.
He looks like
Joseph Ileto who looked like Vincent Chin who looked like Fong Lee who looked like
your neighborhood postman, like a good husband, like a boy on a
maddening threatening five deviled bicycle,
looked like a good target, like a bad seed, like the wrong crowd, like a jap mother f**ker who stole “our” jobs,
so one by one by a hundred they
killed them
Because if you look
like the law
you look
And the rest of us are just wire cages
and a magic trick away
from knowing whose turn it is
to be the sacrificial pigeon
and it’s showtime,
all the time,
so you need to know the difference.

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