belated love

Everything is pepto bismol pink; it’s Valentine’s Day.  I sit at the outdoor cafe, but enjoying my late breakfast is proving to be impossible.  The couple next to me won’t be quiet.  The girl’s loud giggle comes every few seconds in response to something her boyfriend said, I can’t hear him, which probably wasn’t even funny.  As I wait for my coffee, I decide to pop one of those heart candies in my mouth.  My tongue is overwhelmed with the memory of elementary school when I was dared to lick some chalk.  She’s still giggling.  I look around, hoping I’ll catch a glimpse of my breakfast but no.  Her chair is right next to his, she obviously moved it as to not spend a second apart from each other even to eat.  My food comes and I down it quickly.  As I leave I’m forced to walk by this display.  Her perfume mixes with his cologne to create something toxic.  Both probably loaded it on in hopes of Lord only knows what.  Just as I think I’m free of all of this, on my way to the office, I can’t help but notice all of this hand-holding.  Is it really necessary to anchor someone’s limb with your own to show that you care?  But I know that tomorrow all of these so-called cute couples will be back to sitting on different sides of the table and walking side by side and the buildings will return to their gray and I will have survived another year.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee Review

This is one of my favorite books. It is so elegantly written and follows a family of displaced Koreans for a few generations as they deal with racism, poverty, living in Japan and America, among other difficulties. But it isn’t without its heartwarming moments as well. It’s pretty long but I finished it quickly because it grips onto your heart for dear life. I think it provides multiple perspectives on the lifestyle that comes with living a displaced life. Some characters think as long as you are successful nothing matters, some strive to be prove stereotypes wrong, others just want their families to survive until the next day. But at the end of the book, you’ll have to remind yourself that you are not in Japan, running a pachinko parlor.

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born and raised

The man walks through the door
Into the nearly empty room. Thoughts are swirling
Through his head as he takes a glance around
At the tan walls. He’s never seen the sun.
There’s a single photo hanging
Of a sunset. The moon is ever so slightly visible.
The walls are etched into
With straight lines.
The man sits on the stool in
The middle. He looks to his left
And sees the sun for the first time.
The giant ball of fire which
The rest of the world is blessed with. He is not with them,
And he probably never will be.
So he stairs at the grooves. His foot taps a beat
He will never recognize.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Review 

this is the first book I have read or at least remember that, even 50 pages in, seemed more human than paper. it engulfs you. Starr becomes your best friend who you want to fight for. and perhaps even more importantly, it is a book that reflects what teenagers of color are dealing with right now. it touches so close to home and gives representation where it is so hard to find in mainstream books, without it feeling like an observation or a depiction, it was something actually experienced.

It is a book about racism, about the recent shootings and black lives matter movement and, most importantly, about the honest and heartbreaking at times ways that Black America lives when faced with everything thrown at them

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it doesn’t look like you

When I was little

My Irish mom learned to do my hair, braids and all,
She bought me a pocahontas VHS
But not the western movies that showed me being slaughtered and raped.

She took me to every museum and landmark and ceremony and meeting,
Learned together, making flabread or dancing

And i loved myself.

So much.

So why, for 18 years, until I was told better by someone at college,
Why for 18 years did I crave freckles
And skin that had to be lathered in hundreds of sun screen layers,
and blue and green eyes
and that soft, light hair.
I would have gone through desperate things to look like how America defined and pushed beauty.

Beauty was always my mom.

And it’s time for me to strive to be like her version

Exit West by Moshin Hamid Review

​This is a book that truly captures you. I finished it in just under 3 hours, broken up, and it was beautiful. The development between the two characters, how real it made everything even in a world with a fantastical aspect (magical doors instead of boats/trucks), was incredible. That said, that slight magical aspect does not take away at all how much this is written based on the refugee crisis. They are guarded and treated as borders, and you feel the fear and the pull to other locations just like Nadia. I don’t entirely understand why Hamid would cut away every few chapters to discuss someone other than those two, a random character in a random location, never to be mentioned again, but it seemed to add to it. It created the book into more of a world wide planet full of people instead of this insulated relationship and threat
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