Letter to My Motherland [Jess X. Snow] / by EMW Bookstore

Letter to My Motherland

Motherland I am sorry
for I have found home

in a white man’s heart
and I call him love

when he tells me i love you
my throat closes up.

My voice shatters
into pieces of China.

Motherland, there is a crater
the shape of you

on my tongue.
When my lover asks me

"Where are you from?"
I say his name,

when it was always your name
I could not say.

Motherland, I severed
our umbilical cord

with my own teeth
the day I learned

the white man’s tongue.

My Motherland writes back

Daughter, of my sea glass
diaspora: You are already

Chinese. One of million
pieces of porcelain washing

upon distant shores. Your skin –
forged in the kiln with all the

yellow & brown mud
your ancestors saved

that the white man
has not yet burned.

China is reborn
not in it’s firing

but in it’s shattering.

Jess X. Chen (@jessxsnow) is a queer Asian American artist/activist, filmmaker and nationally-touring poet and performer. Her work exposes narratives of diasporic time travel, intimacy and collective protest by connecting the traumas between the queer and colored body and the body of the Earth. Her artwork has appeared in the The LA Times, The Huffington Post, The UN Human Rights Council and on indoor and outdoor walls throughout the US. She has performed her poetry on stages, TEDx conferences, backyards and rooftops nationwide. Through film, mural-making, youth education, she is working toward a future where migrant and indigenous youth of color see themselves whole and heroic, on the big screen and the city walls & then grow up to create their own. (www.jessxchen.com)