My Friend Silke

Silke was a 6 foot tall German woman
with a 5’3 Brazilian lover
They were my favorite couple
Because of the height difference,
their tender exchange of languages
and the way she spoke very boldly
while he barbecued meat for her friends
Which, at the time, included me
and some Chinese students

I never tired of hearing her
regale them with her short answers
which always led,
tension building,
into a very large discussion

“Oh, where did you live in China?”
“Tiananmen Square.”
“Oh, really…when?”
“In 1988 my family moved there
and stayed for 6 years.”
“Ah.” She would let it sit
before mentioning
that every time
she made her admission
to a Chinese person,
they fell silent.

“Yes,” one breathed,
“that’s because, in China,
if you talk about the government
or terrible things that have happened
it’s like a cane will come offstage
and grab you away from the audience.”

Silke said a lot of things
I’ll remember, and also garnered
the best answers to it
along with my piqued interest

the best part was,
we were all there to speak English
otherwise I never would’ve had access
to her brand of journalism

three months spent listening
and now, I’m an expert
on the cross culture between
China, Brazil and Germany

i dont think I ever admitted
that I was American
I was going through my own
little silence;
it was during an election

no one ever troubled to ask me
what was happening
we are always front and center
when it was my turn to cook
i thought of collared greens and southern food
before they chanted, “HAMBURGERS!”

to be from america
is to come to the party
cloaked in invisible infamy
no matter who i am
I’m one of many
they’ve seen it on TV
They even know more
about 9/11 theories than me
which, for them, is not surprising
it’s that classic American ignorance
in my defense,
9/11 has become an obsession
in a place where spice girls
are still considered a thing

today, i watched a documentary
on south korean education
you can be sure
if i asked a korean about it
she’d be prepared with an answer

and now i have to answer for
this stupid orange bastard.

at least he didn’t punch a Clinton
that’s not unheard of
in Taiwanese politics
it seems every country
is, in part, embarrassing

portugal is onto something
with their drug policy
isreal had christ
and we are the land
of the whopper
but in korea
you can have
your burgers delivered
on a mcdonald’s

6 thoughts on “My Friend Silke

    1. this is one of my most rambling poems i was going to check it in the morning for coherence. thank you for the vote 🙂

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