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Special Processed American Me by Camille Faustino

Broken Culture Parts from a whole when

by Jaslyne Tam

vomit lines plastic wrapped trash cans with

chili crisp and steamed fish bones

caught in throats that cause

pneumonia since my Brother

went to the hospital for a

bone and left with phlegm

cleared from his lungs

and contempt for a culture

that tried to stop his heart


Broken culture parts from a whole when

mother tongue becomes the language

of regret and appendages surgeoned off

by a doctor with blonde hair and blue eyes

who says he’s American and asks where I’m from

but frowns when I say America too

since my culture comes from China and his

comes from Germany but he’s actually American

because his hair matches the golden arches of the sun


Broken culture parts from a whole when

P says I look like her Filipino helper

and everyone says I should be offended

since That Asian isn’t My Asian

and my skin isn’t the same

skin that lines her bones

with sinewy muscles that rub

the same floors and scratch the

same ground when we fall from grace together


Broken culture parts from a whole when

  frozen Bibigo dumplings taste more

like home than ones folded by hands wrinkled

by little red books and sewing needles

since home is not where the heart is

when a heart forgets how to beat

without the thrum of hunger in its veins

and when a package of dumplings can be

counted in the app with a scale on its logo


Broken culture parts from a whole when

my eyes become almond holes in my face

and my hair turns blacker with forget

since my body isn’t a body when

resent dunks it into itself and plugs the pores

with sticky rice so I allow myself

to fall deeper with heavier weight into a hatred

I can’t remember I had


About the Writer...

Jaslyne Tam has been passionate about poetry and creative writing for the whole of her teenage years, writing both for her personal passion and for various writing classes and courses. As a junior at Hong Kong International School, she is a part of the Ingenium Literary Magazine and Humanities Center. Outside of school, she contributes to Humanité Magazine, as well as publishing her own writing on various platforms. In the future, she hopes to publish even more writing and eventually publish her own collection of poetry.

About the Artist...

Camille Faustino is a senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. At DASOTA, Camille is a visual arts major. The medium of their piece is paint.

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