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Dirty Asian

By Danielle Bae

Age Group: High School

Trigger Warning: mentions of blood and portrayals of violence

Dirty Asian.

His forked tongue,

Spiked with fatal doses of shame,

Curses at my yellow skin.

Dirty Asian.

It hurts,

How no one stood up for me:

How they merely watched

In silence

As he smashed bricks over my head

And stoned me blind.

Dirty Asian.

I trudge up the stairs of my home,

Glancing tiredly at the clock.

Pulling open the bathroom door,

I step inside the shower stall,

Letting the cold water

Run through my blood

And cloud my thoughts.

Dirty Asian.

I wonder if he’s aware

Of what he has done to me.

I wonder if he knows

That every day,

In the same stall,

I scrub at my legs

Until they bleed

And glow red.

Dirty Asian.

Yesterday was the last day I heard those words.

A sigh:

I cannot tell

Whether or not it’s from relief, or from exhaustion.

He has clawed my way into my bones,

His fangs chipping away

My pride.

His apologies came too late;

My bones are now brittle,

Worn down by daily doses of venom.

Dirty Asian.

I have become an empty shell,

My anger pacified by the ocean waves.

I breathe in the salty waters,

Convinced that I must build

A higher wall of


Dirty Asian.

Dirty Asian.

Dirty Asian.

His words no longer affect me.

I am now an impenetrable force

Walking on water,

Sprinting through thorns,

Tearing through rotten flesh.

The fables are not entirely true.

Time does not indefinitely heal all wounds.

Pain lurks beneath a thin layer of skin still,

For my fragile soul.

But I have become brave.

I have learned through trial and error,

Through blood and tears,

Through pain and time.

I am not dirty.

I am simply

A human being.

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