I am an outsider, a foreigner, an alien-
just an F-1 status.
The great American problem, the
immigrant in search of freedom’s
glistening beauty; the crumpled heap
filling up the seas.
Destiny willed me to be born on this
side of the periphery.
Doldrums of life baptized me a
wanderer with itchy feet.
Fate rendered me an émigré.
I roam the insomniac streets of New
York, through the suburbs of animosity
with a dull language and plain accent.
Unfair in their filtration, i am mocked
and literally dictated to.
“Your accent stinks. You should sound
‘a wee bit’ more American”.
Marginalized and demoralized, i skate
through the fences of social snooty
yard just to fit within their skins.
I am a refugee walking on a
judgmental tight rope through the
barbed wire of segregation.
My conscience is stripped at
sketched border-lines like a common
criminal- humiliated; integrity is
My identity is smudged on the atlas;
banned and restricted to travel.
I am the hunter and the hunted.
Sanguine fluid of my brothers and sisters
flows through the subway re-opening
old fences of my pathetic history.
Better a slave, but not a refugee.
My graffito is displayed along pencil
Painting on the wall mural tells my
plight as an immigrant.
The fire inside my soul burns in
the dead of the night like lady
liberty’s torch of enlightenment.
Bellicosity meets my consciousness.
I, too sing of freedom.
I embrace the broken shackles at the
feet of lady liberty and pay my poetic
homage to freedom and humanity.
I wear the face of every immigrant.
This is my hue.
Art by: Kadir Nelson