“Metamorphosis Points” by Changming Yuan1 min read

4 April, 2019 0 comment

Illustration by Katya Roxas


I would paint my skin

Into a colorless color, & I would dye my hair
Wear two blue contacts, & I would even
Go for plastic surgery, but if I really do
I assure you, I will not remove my native village
Accent while speaking this foreign tongue (I began
To imitate like a frog at age nineteen); nor will I
Completely internalize the English syntax &
Aristotelian logic. No, I assure you that I’ll not give up
Watching movies or TV series, reading books
Listening to songs, each in Chinese though I hate them
For being too low & vulgar. I was born to eat dumplings
Doufu, & thus fated to always prefer to speak Mandarin
Though I write in English. I assure you that even if I am
Newly baptized in the currents of science, democracy &
Human rights, I will keep in line with my father’s
Haplogroup just as my sons do. No matter how
We identify ourselves or are identified by others, this is
What I assure you: I will never convert my proto selfhood

Into white Dataism, no, not
In the yellowish muscle of my heart


Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), BestNewPoemsOnline, the 2018 Naji Naaman’s Literary Prize, among 1,519 others.

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Born and raised in the Philippines, Katya Roxas is well-versed with the sacrifices and opportunities that come with being an immigrant. Through her experiences, she strives to break the barriers of cultural misrepresentation by creating honest and inclusive visual expressions.

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