english is my second language
because the word 'aggressive' to me is not the same as the word 'aggressive' to you.
i am an aggressive dancer.
i am a violent dancer.
i am a passionate lover
a passionate fighter.
and if it seems like i’m overcompensating, it is because i am.
because i look 'delicate'
because i am ‘nice’
my skin is soft unlike the tone of my voice.
deep with roots.
...is it too much?
because i am speaking to make up for the silence of a hundred years.
i take up space
because i choose to and i will.
i make eye contact
so you know that i am here.
i shake your hand with a strong grip because i can meet you halfway.
i will jut out my elbows
claw the air
take ownership of the space around me
because my aggressive moves are an animalistic dance to show that i own more than just my body.
i am a presence
energy they cannot contain.
my passion is bigger than these gestures and louder than i can yell.
losing my voice from singing - songs not for myself
but for ancestors who could not speak up.
i dance ugly and low
a barefooted warrior with bear hands.
ferocity in my DNA where trauma and memory lies
seeps through my pores
as my body sweats tears
reminding my skin of the humid air it craves
-like a fish out of water-
my sweat is the saltiness of the ocean,
the tears never shed for our mother islands
a cleansing release.
english is my second language because my body is first.
because i can't express verbally what my arm can in one motion.
‘They are so happy.’
‘...You must be so happy because we helped You.’
the word 'happiness' to you is not the same as the word 'happiness' to me.
we are not 'happy'
we are resilient.
english is my second language because i was born here.