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elleguyence

I used to bastardize my name
so it’d fit more conveniently
in a western mouth.

I’m convinced that cultural names
are uttered like spells
magic only we possess –
why bother making it easy on others, when
they should be grateful we’ve
blessed them in the first place?

I’ve heard the music in
a tonal language,
tasted the sweetness of coconuts
that ripen in the Vietnamese sun
how dare I leave a bitter taste on
the surname that surpassed
generations

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! I’m dedicating a few poems to my family this May. Please feel free to share your stories in the comments below.

Love,
ELLE

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