My Fingers Grip the Handles To My Bag
A spoken word piece concerning Asian hate crimes and the feeling of being the next victim.
My fingers grip the handles to my bag As I scatter through the Atlantic Terminal I am on my way to school And at last I settle into the station The tunnel in front is barren and lacks light Tracks below shine dully with aged metal Trash litters in small amounts of sewage And the rats scavenge for their next meal I grew up with these stations I remember My nausea when I first rode the subway The books I read on the subway When I just barely catch the subway I find myself here Today Tomorrow And the days after And now I fear this place Michelle Alyssa Go was a consultant She loved traveling and helping others She is remembered for her compassion And her work for helping New York’s poverty Michelle Alyssa Go was murdered She was pushed into train tracks So quickly And before she could react . . . Christina Yuna Lee was a producer She advocated for inclusivity in the music industry She heard about Michelle And thought going home via Uber would be safer Christina Yuna Lee was murdered She was stabbed over forty times She screamed But was not saved Tomorrow we will discuss the Mental health situation of the city The discrimination, misogyny, and racism But tonight we mourn The lost daughters of the Asian community Courts and judges will decide The nature and sentencing Of the crimes But I As another Asian woman Cannot stand the possibility Of being another victim Another headline Another lost Daughter Sister This year I will be eighteen Eighteen years I have lived Eighteen more I wish to live And many decades after I should not have to fear my life Because of my skin color or My almond-shaped eyes I stand not only with my community But with anyone Who was, would, will Be taken advantage of For something they cannot change
Coming out of the anthology piece, I was so convinced on writing another fictional piece, something lighthearted possibly. Between that and the deadline for the multimedia piece, too many events occurred too close to me and my mentor that I couldn’t be silent about. I thought poetry to be something I wasn’t great at but the words poured easily out of me and before I knew it, the piece had been finished. I hope that it roots out the severity of the situation not only to the Asian community but to any other person hurt through prejudice or hate.
Carmen Tan is a student living in New York. She finds interest in the everyday lives of others and thinks of herself as a curious person. Considering the world is so vast, it’s her goal to explore as much as she can. She finds freedom in writing and expresses herself through poetry, world building and creating stories. Finishing those stories are another subject, though; perhaps someday in the future you’ll find a book with her name on the front cover! She currently lives with her family in Brooklyn and an ice cream-stocked freezer.