Where Are You From?


Aug 27 2020

Gold Tape
A poem about a question I'm asked too often

Note: Here is the audiobook version of me reading this poem. Originally published on Patreon, my Patrons encouraged me to share this performance with everyone. Enjoy!

Where Are You From?

Half Korean American accent Scottish name
Where are you from
I’m happy to explain
But first I’m confused –
What are you saying?
Simple question for some but for me
A wheel of fortune
Where does it land?
What part of Other don’t you understand?
What do I bring up
How do I stand my ground, grand
Maybe you didn’t mean to say clearly you’re an immigrant
Maybe you didn’t mean to ask about race but you
just did.
Are you a student? So often I’m asked.
I just carry this air of intelligence, you see, so clever-looking —
No come on, they’re really thinking: You don’t belong. How long til you’re gone?
We don’t know what to say
None of us
But me, the bridge, Mixed Race Superwoman! opportunity, pressure’s on
If I just find the perfect way to explain
You’ll understand
Or, what if I passed the discomfort back?
I pause, reply:
Well, why do you ask?


P.S. I’ve lived in the UK since I was 18, so I have always voted abroad for US elections. If you’re also a US citizen living abroad, Overseas Vote can help you request your ballot! If you’re a US citizen living in the US, check out Vote.org.

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