I know all about fights I won’t win.
Friday night in San Francisco,
the fog a cold wall boxing me in,
insular contempt driving me out.
Get out of our city. Go back
to where you came from.
Techie scum. Chink.
Never mind that chinks like me
built this city, dusted its hills
and creaky trains with their bones,
painted bridges with their blood.
Sunday morning, I am sitting
in a free patch of sun in the park,
watching the first dogs arrive,
sniff new tails with suspicion.
I don’t need you to remind me
I’m not from around here.
that won’t take, like the first
rejected by the body
before scientists learned
how to make them beat
as if they always belonged.
Photo “San Francisco, Through Chain-Link” by David Olimpio.