Visual art by Vita Wang
You are everything,
they’re all a part of you, and you are a part of them.
You are the pigeon,
soaring through the sky,
and landing on the telephone wire.
You are the door to the house across the street,
slightly open, not completely closed
as if it couldn’t decide.
You are the pinecone
that just fell off the branch.
It collides with the ground with a thump.
You are the glass bottle,
shattered on the pavement,
like a million broken secrets
that will never be told.
You are the child,
sitting on the roof, lost in thought,
pretending to be something you aren’t.
You shouldn’t be pretending. You should be studying.
You have a math test tomorrow.
You must be crazy, sitting on the roof,
wasting your time.
You don’t want to flunk the test again.
What are you doing on the roof, anyway?
It’s dangerous to sit on the roof. If you fell off,
you could really hurt yourself.
You return to your bedroom window.
Somewhere, across the street, you hear a door slam.
Hey, you. Yeah, you. Stop the car. What are you doing?
You’re in America. You shouldn’t be here. What, you think this is some sort of joke? We know who you are, and we don’t want you here.
Get out of the car. I said, get out of the car. You heard me. What’s the matter? You don’t speak English? You understand me good? Get out. Now.
What have you got there? Bags? What’s in the bags? Set them down here. Of course they’re your bags. I don’t care how long you’ve had them. I don’t care if they’re special. Don’t give me that look. Look at your jewels. They’re fake. You think I’m stupid? In America, you could buy this piece of junk for five dollars.
Open them up. Lipstick, bracelet, books in your language—what is this trash?
What’s this? A wallet? Are these supposed to be dollar bills? How do you fit all those bills and quarters in there? And who are these people in the back seat? Are those your thug friends? They look awfully small. You say they’re your children?
Quit your begging—I’m not going to let you go. You poor people are pathetic; you’re always begging us to feel to sorry for you.
Show me where you’ve got it. You know what I’m talking about. I need to see your green card. Green card. Your proof of citizenship. Give it here. I said, give it here. I don’t want to hear what you have to say about this. You have no say; you’re in America, and you follow our rules.
Just as I thought—you have no green card. You’re no citizen. You have no right to be here, filling our classrooms with your kids. You’re not allowed to contaminate our land with your people. You’re just an illegal alien. Illegal.
I am neither a racist, nor a pre-judger. I am a proud officer, and I am rightfully doing my duty in keeping this country as American as apple pie. Now put your hands behind your back—you’re under arrest.