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On My Sleeve

I wear my identity on my sleeve

Because it is all too often forgotten

I wear my identity on my sleeve

Because I fear one day,

I too shall forget

I wear my identity on my sleeve

To yell from the rooftops

This is who I am

But I forget how inseparable I am

From my identity and culture

Ocean Vuong once said, “Even if I were to write the word the that is still an Asian American the

My identity is

inseparable from my

culture, inseparable from my

ancestry, inseparable from my


Everything I touch, leaves a mark

Every mark, touched by who I am.

Though schools and institutions,

Peers and mentors

Nations and its leaders

May ask me to lay aside my identity,

An identity that threatens:

Their version of the story,

Their version of their nation,

It’s history and culture

The intersection of my culture

My identity

In this nation,

with its history,

it’s heritage and its culture

Cannot be undone.

A self weaving tapestry.

Tear a thread

and it mends itself

Burn it down

And like a phoenix

it emerges from the ashes

Erasure is impossible

So long as I breathe.

Editors: Joyce S., Chloe M., Leandra S.

Photo Credits: Dadu Shin


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