Coin Flip

Yeezy taught me.

To be unapologetic.
Me found bravery in my bravado.
Self confidence was foreign–
a concept inconceivable to the
nerdy asian kid.

To be the infinite me.
The only rapper compared to Michael.

I wanted to be like Mike.

I can’t touch the rim, but not because I’m Asian.

I can dunk, but not because I’m black.

I will jump through hoops, I will step out of bounds.

My favorite intellectual is Jeremy Lin.
The Harvard educated 6th man for the Charlotte Hornets.

My favorite basketball player is Barack Obama.
The 6’ 1” Native Son running point for the White House.

On the inside looking out, I see my reflection in the window,
An outsider looking back in.

I am the Cool Asian.

I am the Black Nerd.

I am the duality.

My color does not preclude me from being Cool.
My Coolness is not rooted in being less Asian.

My color does not discredit my intellect.
My intellect does not strip me of my color.

I see in myself an American,
but what does America see in me?

Effeminate. Pansy. Nerd.

Thug. Violent. Criminal.
“A demon.”

I am proud to be an American,
but is America proud to be me?

The model minority:
fit to be lead but
unfit to lead.

It gave Mike a bullet,
before ever giving him a shot.

You put a ruler to my penis to measure my manhood.

You neutered me.
You took my virility from me,
and rendered me asexual.

Who I am is bigger.

You have molded who I am supposed to be.

Distortion, illusion, myth
whittling away at my being,
leaving nothing but the crumbs,

pieces of myself to reassemble.

Suffocating in the coal-pit
of societal pressure,

I emerge a diamond.

In my experiences, I see another’s:

Two sides of the same coin,
both taken at face value,
faces that hide their tales.

Audio Credits: Maddie Pron, Forest Cummings-Taylor, and Tyler Morris

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