Guilliean reads three of her poems; read along with the poems while you’re listening!
Where Do I Belong?
All my life I straight tripped on who I was Was I Filipino, was I American? For twenty-eight years, I could not assume either role, I was never pigeonholed, but I never belonged. My accent is Nor Cal born & bred My height is so misled I eat rice with my hands I nosh hamburgers for breakfast I sing God Bless America with the firefighters I sing Dahil sa iyo like the Divas I drive like a maniac on the freeway But that’s a given, whether I’m brown or pink Doing our research made us children of the world: Filipino, Chinese, Spanish, German, French. Loose lips sink ships, merchant ships brought lips together Sharing silly stories, firing up new memories, A whole new branch to embrace. You can feed me cloying words, Tell me I should feel wronged. But you would be wrong. I belong to both, and to neither, It’s a miracle to feel as lonely as I’ve ever been, But as safe as I’ll ever be, Caught between so many worlds, I’ll always be your girl.
If I could, I would give my eyes back to God Return to sender, address unknown To remove from me the grief that comes With being slightly shadowed in everyday situations These pinpricks of space that adjust appropriately To the dark, to the light, unto the breach Can't see the leaf on the wind, watch how it soars Tired of seeing halfway, can't meet you there neither I can't get anything right.
twenty four hours in a day twenty four years since riots serenaded the streets of L.A. that powder keg of corruption safety of unreality violated blue and red combined made purple, united against the tyranny of the 5-0 we lived six hours away working class neighborhood southside Modesto I can see your face cringe all the way over here when I tell people where I lived. never thought it was that close until the house down the block had black and whites crowding our quiet street red and blue lights pulsing imprinting in my brain that damned song worming its way into consciousness breaking off my innocence with it.
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