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Eighteen | Gay | Indian | UC Irvine'18


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My mother calls
to tell me about her day
and I listen,
because I know
there’s no one else who will.

My mother asks me
to tell her about mine,
so I tell her only the good things
and keep the rest inside
because words travel distances
but her loving hands cannot.

My mother asks me
if I am happy,
and I tell her that I am;
I ask her the same question
and she says ‘yes,
if you are, I am’;
and I know that some lies
are worth telling.

My mother reminds me
to be strong through it all,
to remember to be modest
and to always keep
my head up high;
” I’ve given you everything,”
she says,
” make me proud.”

But my mother doesn’t know
that everything comes with
her shame attached;
that the child of an immigrant
cannot smile without guilt,
cannot feel without pain,
cannot be without fear.

My mother asks
if I understand,
and I say yes,
I can’t unlearn it.

And when my mother
asks when I’m coming home,
I know she’s asking for me
to never forget;

“Soon,”
I promise her;
Soon.

- © 2013 Maza - Dohta (via itsmyjourneytojannah)
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