my parents came to America with 60 dollars,
clutched between their anxious fingers-
the same ones they used to build me my future.
comprised of a tattered wedding picture and decaying postcards-
cling to the walls of a one-bedroom Pittsburgh apartment,
yearning to be absorbed into the American melting pot,
sifted with the dreams of every other immigrant.
my mom spends Sunday mornings
with cloudy skies filtered through her eyes,
fingers running through soaked rice,
humming tunes from a world I didn’t live in
and when I look at her, I see an America
that doesn’t have to have a glazed turkey
on the kitchen table or spools of blonde hair.
I am a child of sacrifice,
raised on gurgled melodies
of a land that streaks my
I am peppered with love and
glass promises that I dangle with every failure
I cannot afford to fail.
so when you tell me to go back to my country,
I gaze at the beige walls of my house,
built atop their weary bones,
looking at the ceiling as they have,
sleepless in their ambitions.
I stand still.
Copyright © Krithika Shrinivas | Year Posted 2019