true story

He was from El Salvador
we met in a cafe in the Mission

He asked me where I am from
I told him I was born here

He asked me where my parents are from
I told him they came from Cambodia

He asked me if I was Chinese or Japanese
I told him that Cambodian is different

He laughingly said that they’re all the same
I told him that they’re not

I was ready to strike with indignation
when he explained himself:

“We are all the same, our skin,
our hair, our blood, it is all the same–
it is only our minds that are different, our hearts.”

The cynic in me
with her volumes of
social justice jargon
stepped aside.

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