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American-born with a history of bengal blood,
I have since coveted for a sense of
Social compatibility with the stars in the sky,
And the soil that lay beneath my newborn feet.
Raised from the brown hands of my mother
And the steel arms of the democracy,
I am torn between two identities that
Call for my name.
Wishing to be the aspired American teenager
With her aspiring American life,
I yearn for the grass dew on my arms and the
Sunlight between my thighs.
I see the free-spirited stars
in the night of ink above me
I reach for them, because that is all I have
Known since the moment of my birth.
In a world where anything
Can be accepted, treated, respected,
As if it is a luminous sun
In a void of cosmic blindness.
I itch for clothing that shows off golden skin,
I yearn for an adventure whenever it comes my way,
I crave for the vitality of the alleged freedom
That soaks up the American sunrise.
My blood, though, flows a different direction,
The soil is laced with the deepest of roots
And suddenly the shape of the fluid sky is
Warped into something concrete.
Greens and reds of a
Flawless bengal culture with
Expectations higher than
The star I’m reaching for.
Arms and legs wrapped up tightly,
With my focal point in life is my education,
This side of my life calls for my
Here, every can is a need,
Every may is a must,
Every please is a do,
And conformity is always the answer.
Raised in a lighter bohemia,
I’ve always struggled to stay
In line with a culture that has
So few emotional links to me.
Intimidated, I am suffocating
On the branches of my family tree
That has grown in sheer determination,
My name has yet to shine.
The pressure is crushing,
Success is what makes the parents great,
And shame is a tattoo, an emblem
Of your hapless mistake.
A rose grown from the dirt,
A mask of beauty and class is presented
To hide the sharp thorns that
Lay discreetly under their skin.
The mothers sip black tea
As they discuss the futures of the daughters,
The daughters, a coterie of prejudice,
Shut out anyone who aren’t like them.
I’ve been split into these two universes,
And I am not completely sure
Of which of the two
That I so clearly belong.
I could never explain to my American friends,
I could never explain to my mother,
Why I had such a hard time
Meeting their expectations.
I must choose between
A perilous road of free-spirit to infinities
Or a safe road of submission to conformity,
And unfortunately time is running out.
So I lay here, absorbing, basking,
In the hopeful rays of the refulgence of the sun
While moistening in the security of the ground,
I lay as I find a way to get strings to attach and make it work.
What am I but a blend of the
Stars, the moons, and all the
Cherry blossoms grown from the gardens?
This, my dear, is the recognition of self-love.
Embracing who you are as a human being
is tantamount to unwinding into the sunlit radiance
Of a self-empowered fighter,
flourishing in the gardens and the stars, alike.