Wisp

United States

i still dream of you

est. 26.9.19

Message to Readers

I think at some point you learn that this is simply what you are, and what you are faced with in life. At times it's almost even normal, but for a split second you will let your guard down and your vulnerability will begin to show.

the way it's supposed to be

April 17, 2021

you were born from damnation. born from refugees fleeing worn-torn countries, crying children with bloodied feet, the brink of poverty where $20 was more than any fortune imaginable. 
your parents came to america as children clinging to their parents' hands. they were brought up in poverty worse than the country they had fled.
they lived a life where there was barely enough food on the table, where they learned how to make a pair of shoes last for two years, where their clothes came from the discount section in walmart. your parents grew up in america, impoverished asian americans barely getting by in a place that called them aliens. 
but they will endure the hardship and you will be born.
they will give you an english name, not one of their culture, because they don't want your name to be the thing that gets you targeted. they will raise you speaking english instead of their native tongue, teach you how to keep your gaze trained to the floor when others passed by, teach you how to make yourself as small as possible—they teach you how to survive in a world that favors the whites. 
you will enter kindergarten at a school with a white person's name on the sign. 
at that school you will see white kids with blonde hair and blue eyes and you will see hispanic kids with brown skin and black hair. there will be no one who looks like you, you will be the only one with small eyes and yellow skin. 
and the kids in your class will look at you and call you 'chinese girl', they will call you chinese even when you're not and your whole school will know you because of this. 
you will run home to your parents and tell them about what the kids in your class said, and your parents will tell you to endure it. they will smile sadly and pat your back, but they will tell you to swallow the comments. 
and you will go back to school the next day and hear those harsh words. they will attach to your skin and they will become all you know, until you are hardened to the discrimination against you—until the discrimination becomes normal, until you rationalize that this is just how it's supposed to be. 
what your parents didn't tell you was that you'd be enduring it long after you left that kindergarten classroom. 
one day, you'll become old enough to notice the glances of the strangers around you. you will become old enough to realize that there is not another who looks like you at your new elementary school or middle school or high school. you will realize that you are the imposter in this society. 
and they will look at you with expressions that linger between curiosity and aggression, more often than not the latter. you will shrink under their gaze, but you will endure it. you will tell yourself that this is just the ways things are. 
when you meet others they will ask you "what is your nationality?" and you will shy away from the question, embarrassed by the answer you are left to give. you will whisper the answer and you will leave out half of your lineage, ashamed that it isn't a nationality that they will know.
you will curse your black hair and yellow skin and small eyes, you will curse yourself for not being like your classmates. in your dreams, you will dream of yourself as pale-skinned with blue eyes. you will curse your heritage and you will wish that you had been born white instead. 
you will go out with your white friends and you will adapt to your white society. you will learn how to talk like them, act like them, be like them. 
but you will never be them.
no, you will go out with your friends and clench your fists as strangers stare at you. you will smile when someone says something belittling, and you will ignore rude strangers. not because you do not feel hurt, but because it scares you more what will happen if you upset them and get in trouble. because who will believe the asian american over the white american? 
you were brought up the same as them, but you are not like them. 
you are asian. and that is all anyone will ever see.
your hands will be stained yellow with your nationality and you will carry the curse of being asian american. and when aggression is aimed towards you, you will swallow it and keep quiet. you will endure the discrimination and smile, clenching your fists until red is all you see. 
you cannot say anything. you cannot even defend yourself.
because you have to make yourself as small as possible in order to survive. 
but it is hard staying quiet, always cautious and always on alert. it is hard living a life where you're thinking it would be better if this skin wasn't your own. 
and you are tired. 
tired of the stares. the discrimination. 
tired of the ache you carry with you. 
but you will tell yourself that this is just how it's supposed to be. 
[Unofficial] Diary #2

#HATEISAVIRUS

Print

See History

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

9 Comments
  • Busssy.Beee

    Hidden between your words, there is just so much that speaks out. From the influence of your diction to your fluctuating line structures, there's so much talent and clarity. You have created this sort of intensity in your words, it clings to the reader. The subtle hints of disappointment in the phrases like, "you cannot say anything. you cannot even defend yourself," just clasps onto my heart. You filled each part of this with such power, I feel like I'm only grasping such a little portion of its full potential. And I can't help but marvel about how graceful(?) this is written. It stills holds that element of elegance and artistry. You've mastered such a magnificent touch with your words, it's so awe-inspiring and superb!
    Re: Gosh, reading your comment after a while feels so refreshing and comforting. I'm so thankful to have been able to get back into the flow of things again and start "talking" to you again, Shizu! I'm glad you've been able to take breaks more frequently and that you haven't been as stressed! I hope this continues! I've been getting more productive with my school work, so that's been nice. However, my sleep is still somehow reduced haha, so I'm working on that! Hm, well I'm around 4-5 weeks till the end of school so that been motivating. CAASP (California's State Testing) is starting next week, so that's kind of interesting. Though, I'm not too stressed about it because it doesn't really count for anything. I'm not in-person yet, for the school only allow around half of the students back, so I'm still hanging online. :)
    Thank you so much for your support, Shizu. It means the entire universe to me! <3 I'll definitely send a message on Prose. Did you get it? ;)
    Oh, yes! Me too! I've been looking at my calendar for a while now haha! I just have a couple of weeks and then finished with middle school! Good luck on your AP tests! I know you'll do just fine, Shizu! School's been generally going pretty well. I haven't really been stressed at all, so life's been kind of drifting along. Though, there was a time when I felt kind of unmotivated to do things. But, now I'm feeling a lot more energetic!
    For us, there were a lot of students who opted for in-person, so they separated all of us into groups. I'm still doing distanced learning, but it's just as fine. My school opened April 1st, but our schedule is still kind of messed up so we're still adjusting haha. How has your schedule been? Have you found it hard to adjust (if you had to?)
    Hm, well, the thought of high school kind of really soaked in my head recently. I've been getting constant emails about transitioning and summer school and all of that sorts, so it's been quite interesting. Uhm, other than that though, I think my life's just kind of been chilling.
    I hope the coming week continues to treat you well! Sending lots of love! <3


    28 days ago
  • Paisley Blue

    re: it's funny that you say that about my comments, becaue I'm the same way with yours!! i always smile when i see you in my notifications :) and i've been absolutely terrible at responding to comments lately (i'm sorry!!!) but yours are always so sweet and they just make my day brighter :) reading this piece again now, and it still just. wow. takes my breath away. there's so, SO much packed into this and i love it and it hurts and i love it.
    haha yeah i never knew what petrichor was until i came onto wtw!! i feel like there are some words that only writers use, yk? like petrichor, or saccharine, or alabaster. all wonderful words by the way. it's been rainy for a couple of weeks now, so it's really nice to wake up today with the birds singing and the sun shining through my curtains!
    i definitely know what you mean about going back in-person. does my anxiety hate it? yes. is it still wonderful to see people i haven't seen in over a year? yes! so yeah there's both pros and cons for sure. but i've been enjoying it!
    what's new in your life? what's one good thing you're looking forward to? all of my love, my dearest constant :) <3


    28 days ago
  • rwong

    holy wow omg wisp okay so um where do i start. first of all i was seriously gonna read/like/comment on this piece for wayyy too many days now and im sorry i didnt bc i cant believe i missed something like this ugh. this is literally so powerful and impactful and the emotions you've packed in here and the way you've described the injustices and heartwrenchingly beautiful and i know everyone before me said this but seriously it's true. i would write an entire review but i only have like 1 suggestion so that would be a waste of a review but what i would've said was in the lines: "at that school you will see white kids with blonde hair and blue eyes and you will see hispanic kids with brown skin and black hair. there will be no one who looks like you, you will be the only one with small eyes and yellow skin." maybe consider changing it so its consistent with color of skin, color of hair? idk just my thoughts bc it may help with the flow a bit but again honestly this is so impactful just the way it is and seriously pls dont feel obligated to use this suggestion. i almost feel really bad bc im like criticizing your piece which is so obviously personal to you and so emotional and it just doesnt feel right aslj;kfja;sdlfk so if im offending you i'm really really really sorry. i dont mean it, truly. and then bc the reviews ask for a favorite line and i have far too many to choose from, i guess i'll say "what your parents didn't tell you was that you'd be enduring it long after you left that kindergarten classroom. " and also the line "but you will never be them." is so powerful because like its also the shortest line in the entire poem and thats what draws my attention, like that right there is the climax of everything that's accumulated and all the pain and all the effort in being whoever society wants you to be and who you'll never be, just absolutely brilliant wisp. absolutely amazing. and then the ending...i mean wow i cannot put into words how i feel about this, especially because i'm asian american too. of course our experiences are a little different but you just gave us a voice and that is so, so powerful and using it in such a way as you have. okay i think this comment is getting far too long so im ending it here but you have no idea how powerful this piece is and thank you for sharing your story and seriously the world needs to hear/read/see this. sending all my love <3 <3 <3


    29 days ago
  • Fernweh

    re - thank you so much for your appreciative words! it is truly astounding how you packed so many emotions into a single piece and i m so glad people are slowly but surely recognizing the need to stop the hate. this poem is more than just a poem, its a step towards changing the world. thank you for writing this.


    29 days ago
  • journal.scribbles

    (sorry about the late comment, WiFi issues)
    Wow. You're gonna make me cry. This piece is so dang powerful and says everything that needs to be said. Sadly, I can relate to a lot of the experiences you described and this piece just felt so amazing to read. It made me feel like like we're not alone in facing discrimination. So weirdly, this poem about being tired was invigorating. Thank you so much for writing this.


    about 1 month ago
  • Fernweh

    i dont have words to describe what emotions i am feeling right now after reading this. i am an asian and while i stay in my own country, my heart pains for those fellow asians who are facing unnecessary hate. thank you for writing this poem. i truly hope that you win and this poem gets the attention it needs.


    about 1 month ago
  • Paisley Blue

    what they said below; this is so powerful and so emotional and just. painful, but in the best way possible. thank you, thank you for sharing this. this is wonderful, wisp <3 i don't have the words to express how much i feel right now but ahh it's so... intense and unjust and the ENDING omg. okay. sorry, this is absolutely incoherent but i- wow.
    re: yesss petrichor!! my mom didn't believe me that it was a real word until i looked it up :) the sound, the feeling, the mood; it's almost indescribable but still wonderful!! :) i'm glad your day went well! it's been a big transition but i agree, it's nice to be back!
    yes i love learning french :) it makes sense that you thought of champagne, because that is a very french drink!! lol, yeah it's so bubbly and smooth and pretty and i absolutely butcher it but you know what that's okay!
    sending you love as bright as the sun :) hoping your day is gorgeous!


    about 1 month ago
  • mirkat

    wisp, i started tearing up. the emotion here... the injustice, the discrimination. and writing it as if it's happening to me, the reader, was even more powerful. this line is still seared into my mind:
    "they will smile sadly and pat your back, but they will tell you to swallow the comments"
    and then this, the end:
    "but you will tell yourself that this is just how it's supposed to be."
    because that's the saddest part of all, isn't it? that this society, that this racism doesn't even give you hope for a better world. this is why your beautiful, heartwrenching piece is so tragic. nothing can change without hope, without a fight. but your writing this in the first place is that seed of hope, that start of a fight. so like tuffy said, brilliant.
    re: thank you, wisp, so much for your comment on my piece a while ago. it was so eloquent, how you described what i was trying to convey. how we must find comfort in watching others love. and also wisp? you are the best older sister i could ever ask for. you and tuffy actually, too. so supportive and kind and i want to be just like you guys. that sounds all cheesy, but trust me, it's the fancy, expensive parmesan cheese! you really mean a lot to me. thank you, my wisp! <3<3<3


    about 1 month ago
  • crystalline•galaxies

    first: brilliant. i don’t know what more i can say that i haven’t already said on the first one, but i’ll try. i’m obviously not in the same position as you are in, as i am most definitely white, but i think that really looking into what you said and what other people experiencing this type of discrimination have said really helps me get a grasp on where you’re coming from. every time i read the things you write about this, i get filled with so many feelings and i just don’t know what to do with them (it’s a good thing, i promise!) and then i’m just left trying to figure out what on earth we can all do to make a difference and sometimes it gets so large that i just don’t even know anymore. your writing makes me want to make a difference and i think that’s the most powerful weapon of all.
    re: i’m so glad the shift into first person at the end worked! i was very excited about it. and yeah, it’s so frustrating to watch the world just crumble and turn on itself yet again and have to just sit there and watch it happen. i wish the world would just figure itself out.


    about 1 month ago