You Know Me

You know that I was born in a land far away
China, Japan, or China,
Instead of being born in Alameda, California
To Korean parents who speak two

You know me as the small child in the back
Of the class, speaking
Instead of the boy who devoured books
With the hunger of a deprived

I am the quiet teenager who never
Rebels, protests, speaks,
But is.
Instead of the one who got his first “B”
For whispering over the teacher’s

You know me as the aspiring doctor
Who is smarter without
Instead of the writer that tells the story of a gook
Who fell through the chinks in the

You know that I am a man who is invisible
Even when people are
Instead of a man who douses himself in paints of
Reds, whites, and blues,
To be heard.

But I know that when those paints sheathe my arms, my
tongue, they will mix and turn into purple, the shade of
bruises. And then you will know that I have nothing left to