The Target on Me

My yellow-hued skin

almond-shaped eyes

long, dark hair

My skin that covers my body

protecting my from 

injury and harm

My face that differs from others

and yet

the skin can only protect from so much

My ethnicity that has shaped who I am 

scapegoated

blamed for a global pandemic

One that I have no control over

one that none of us have control over

one that has put targets on backs like mine

My hands clean

free of diseases

and yet others blame us for the deaths 

The scapegoating that makes it acceptable

to yell derogatory slurs from the mouth of 

those that see us as commie, chink, covid carrier

My body that now carries a target

and no matter how much I try 

it keeps reappearing

Each time I try scrubbing it off

the target comes back even darker

more susceptible to one’s eyes

My body scared of the hatred seeping from their eyes

so I hide in my house

too scared to walk downtown

Too scared to go to the grocery store

scared I’ll have to face someone who tries to 

take an aim at the target

Scared I’ll have to dodge the hate, violence, sinophobia

all 

by myself

The people boasting their activism 

on social media

silent 

When Asians are scapegoated

murdered, burned, assaulted

what will you do?

When you see my face

will you see me as human

a deadly virus?

Your silence is not an option

it’s either stand and speak up with us

or support attacks against Asian Pacific Islander Americans

So the next time you see us

what will you think?

that we’re perpetual foreigners, covid carriers, the “model minority”

Or will see you beyond the harmful 

stereotypes?

will you see our humanity?

My yellow-hued skin

may look different from yours

but I’m still made from flesh and bone

With my yellow-hued skin

almond-shaped eyes

and long, dark hair

Is a human

who’s community is hurting

see the fear, resilience and humanity we carry 

We are no less than you

we may have a target on our back

but it doesn’t mean you have to target us

Your silence is killing us.

by Zabrina Richards