my open letter to you,
and you at the front of the class, and you
on the helpline, and you with your pen poised,
at your cubicle, weighing my worth, my word,
on scales, what I might add to your campus,
your liberal arts program. This here—you, read
my face: Fragrance of 12-point Times New
Roman, subject and verb match in
numerical case, harmonize in key,
in timing, in tense; I know
my conjugations; I will not marry
inflection -ing to be nor mismatch
my antecedents and plurals—
unequally yoked. See, I am just—
like you, polished, on this
blank white space, marked by only me.
No fragments will cue you nor syllables accented.
No reason to ask, Where are you from?
What did you say?--of my diphthongs
and monophthongs stumbling
over the lingual frenulum (stunted
among the species of the slit-eyed mongoloid)
nor restate my words, which you recognized enough
to repeat—but in these 12-point typefaces
divided by equidistant white space,
I am you, and you are me.
In grammar I dress, dazzling
in high-heel multisyllabic vocabulary;
no red squiggly underlines; I sashay the
mosaic coordinations and subordinations
of my clauses, perfectly punctuated—dependent—
of your come again’s. This font—my face,
my grapholectal driving standard American:
Try and steal
from me this hill
A Malaysian-Chinese immigrant, grew up Pentecostal among Buddhist-Taoist relatives. He arrived in Abilene, TX when he was 17. Daniel has worked as a substitute teacher, an adjunct instructor at the college level, and an assistant director of a TRiO program–but often dreams of being a househusband.