Identity

My daughter wants to interview me
for a project on racial identity. Make it dramatic,
they want that. She pantomimes
the teacher’s instructions to act out the dialogue:
tortured looks aimed at the ground.

All my stories feel so small.
Her whole life I’ve been a monolith,
a tiger, and now I’m back to the blunt
cut bangs and the sing-song

me Chinese me no dumb
that struck me dumb at the time,
mute in my mittens, strings dangling,
a snot-nosed

dark blot of a child. The stories I want to tell
her aren’t the ones she wants to hear–