Yellow, not mellow

Bruce Lee once said “be water, my friend.”

And I was water
Too shifty for my own good –
The trickster in every tale.
The tide of sneaky Yellow Peril
Washing over the shores of red, white, and blue
One pair of slanted eyes at a time.

I was the ocean –
As salty as the sign that said
“No chinks or dogs allowed.”
I was frigid and freezing
Like the water they shivered in
As they waded from their war-torn shores
Fresh off the boat
Towards the golden legend
As they mined for precious metals
In the Golden State
Always moving, striving
For the golden goal
Because yellow was uncivilized
And gold glinted in the sun
Bold, bright, beautiful
Or so they thought
Or so they were told
Because Uncle Sam always said
The Land of the Free
Is full of opportunity
But he never mentioned that
The Golden Gate Bridge isn’t golden –
None of this country is –
It’s red
Like the blood of the workers who built it.
And their predecessors who bled from American bullets
Skulls split simply for being savage
Because they’re not the color of the porcelain
They manufacture so well for a tenth of the price.

I am waves crashing
Over rocky ridges and sandy shores
Vacillating violently
so that the sand and the rocks and the water
Are all churned into one entity
Bound together by the laws of nature.
Yet somehow whenever the waves break
They always wash up white.

I will forever be water
Because I am fluid,
Not bound to one form:
Not your Pacific sunset,
Your fanta-sea bride or ABG.
I’m not the owner of a rice rocket
Or a Pokemon
You can pull out of your pocket
When you need a Jackie Chan to your Chris Tucker
Because math homework was too hard
And a flat nose means I must be able
To smell the right answer.

I am the tide
No longer still, stale water
But a sea of change.
I am who I need to be,
Guerrilla in the forest,
Refugee on the inflatable raft,
Nurse in the emergency room,
And soldier serving in the Navy
Shouldering the burden
For the white man’s country.

“Be like water making its way through cracks…
Adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it.
If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves…
Water can flow or it can crash.
Be water, my friend”


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