I never understood what it was to be ASIAN
I never understood why I had to be called ASIAN

Or told that I was ASIAN.

I thought I was like everyone else,
I have two eyes, two arms and two legs
I have a brain – I have a heart

And yet

I am always told I am ASIAN.

I remember middle school,
I remember CHINK.

I remember being asked if I ate dog.
I remember everyone laughed.
I remember the teachers heard
and only once did a substitute stop it.

I forgot his name, I wish I knew who he was because
I will always remember him saying

“That’s not OK.”

I thought I was like everyone else,
human – female – Canadian

I remember feeling ugly because he wasn’t into ASIANS
I remember feeling pretty because

I was pretty FOR an ASIAN.

I thought I belonged because I was born here,
I thought I was Canadian.

I thought I was ME.

What is ASIAN?