Restrained

Perhaps I walked once on that tarmac pier
the south of Boston since I called it home
and still received the regular foul sneer
but then my slang told them we’re monochrome
just brothers, the established bleeding red
the acid does not hiss, the moon stills me
with her soft cadence, I sleep on my bed
hey, I’m no insect with lodged fruit! Let be!
But say it’s home because of ‘good’ degree
and I’m Cambodian, here for pure thought —
the lawn’s undoubtedly close-cropped, I see!
But even the path has close-cropped gross snot!
Perhaps I walked once on that tarmac pier
and bleeding red, sand-nigger die! I hear.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

For What Pegman Saw 

9 responses

  1. Very moving portrait of the immigrant experience, being denied even the civility of just being left alone. Your piece led me on a Google quest which ended up with this article on longtime residents of the US who happen to be Cambodian, who were convicted of felony drug charges. They are currently being expelled from the US and sent back to their “homeland,” which, after a lifetime in the US is not home to them at all.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2160861/strangers-their-homeland-khmerican-cambodians-trump-deported

    • I shall definitely read the article. It’s tragic that they’re just not accepted. Deportation after citizenship sounds absolutely absurd. I agree that they should be tried and serve their sentence, but tried like any other American. The world’s going to dogs. Forgive me for the cliche but I find adages containing more and more truth these days.

      • I think these were not citizens, just resident aliens. Still. They had already served their time years ago and had spouses and children who were American.

        And as for cliches some of the best poets use them to great effect. Elvis Costello comes to mind. One cant be original with every turn of phrase.

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