Cressida

United States

she/her | mixed
aspiring scientist and writer | musician

status: constantly eating cheetos

joined: late april, 2020

Message to Readers

Thank you for your kind comments- I think I won't take down this piece after all :)

ode to languages that will never pass your lips

May 26, 2020

FREE WRITING

24
you are but an amalgamation of adulterated cultures and genes,
everything they seem to hate, but yet you can’t help but be in awe
of the way Hangul syllables undulate like Busan’s golden waves
on your mother’s tongue (and, greedy as america ever was,
you always lust for a little taste of that language on your green lips).
but yet your tongue trips and falls, clumsy and broken, over words
and phrases you will never be able to comprehend, a foreigner
in your own country. 

and is it even you own country if you don’t
look like them? even your own mother remarks about how she
wishes you looked more like her culture- you’re all-American,
jade eyes, skin like tea spilled on pale parchment- you are
hamburgers and deep-fried Oreos, hotdogs and greasy French fries
and pizza that stains your late night homework. and she is
kimchi soup and cold noodles, bulgogi with fresh steamed rice
that fogs up windows and un-fogs your mind. 

and the girls, they say
that you’re Asian as an excuse to mark you as “other,” something
extraterrestial, extraterritorial. and Koreans, they say
that you’re White as an excuse not to claim you (and to be honest,
no one wants you- humanity itself was programmed to shun you).
and you, you say that you’re mixed as a pathetic, pious
grasp at something to cling to- a sense of identity, maybe-,
but there’s something canine about it- “Oh, she’s a mix-”
(and purebreds were always better). but without the undulating
syllables of Hangul rolling off your tongue, you’re not sure
you have any claim to any culture at all. 

and suddenly, you feel solitude’s burden inundating
your shoulders- and you never felt so exiled in your own
country- land of the free, the “liberated,” until your
fourth grade teacher asked your nine year-old
self (one of two biracial kids in your entire grade)
if your race fell under the “other” category. back then
even your identity could not be properly acknowledged as real,
true (and you still remember the day when you could confidently
click multiple boxes for your race)- but they still box you and
box you in cages built from their own stifling mind set (it must
always be “us versus them,” assertations of humanity’s superiority 
complex).

and every day,
every day is a brawling fight to prove your worth- and some days
you’re not sure that it’s worth it. Hangul will never
pass your lips with the ease of a summer’s breeze- no,
it’s like dry ice on your tongue, burning and scorching every attempt you make
to connect with your culture- and you’ll always be American
first and tentatively Korean second. And maybe you’ll learn to be
fine with that.
Sorry that this is so long. I think I’ll take this down soon after I begin to hate it (which will probably be tomorrow morning). This is more of a rant piece than anything :|.

If I decide I like this, I might go funky with the formatting. Probably not though

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12 Comments
  • CrazyNinjaKid

    This is utterly insane, no words to describe this beauty of the writing


    6 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    Replying: hah, I can totally relate to chem-related stress. There's no pressure at all to do the review if you want. <3


    6 months ago
  • van gogh's girl

    i dont know why you'd ever consider taking this down. it's beautiful


    6 months ago
  • A Rose

    dang


    6 months ago
  • OpalDove

    I love this so much. Please do not take it down. It is so beautiful and amazing and just inspiring. This is so great.


    6 months ago
  • mia_:)

    This is stunning!


    6 months ago
  • birthdaycandles

    this is so undeniably beautiful, it's so interesting to read about you exploring your cultures. phenomenal.


    6 months ago
  • sunny.v

    as a second generation asian immigrant kid this hit really, really hard. this is beautiful and it about sums up all the doubts of connecting with your heritage. amazing


    6 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    I can tell this is super meaningful, so please don't delete this.


    6 months ago
  • agustdv

    you know, as an immigrant, i find this hitting too close to home. it is still a million times easier for me to read english than hindi. i think in english. i pray in english. and i mourn lost languages.

    i think the parts that stood out the most to me are the bits where you claim the feeling of otherness that is so stark in your younger days. it really stings you as a child.

    also, i adored the parallels between your mother's cultural upbringing and yours. somewhere, both of you must be clinging to the faint hope that you will experience the rich flavor of korean air like she had. it must be hard.

    i love this. anything about diaspora, i love. you've done such a good job. honestly.


    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Please don't take this down. It's beautiful.


    6 months ago
  • black_and_red_ink

    I really liked this piece and I found it quite relatable as an immigrant. I'm hoping you won't take it down :) .


    6 months ago