dominican logo top
 

The Belly

Aijuana Bifri

The Star-Spangled Banner plays and I don’t have my hands on my heart

 

next thing I know, I hear,

 

“You anti-American immigrant leech

 

if you don’t like America, why don’t you leave?

 

if you don’t like America, why don’t you go home?

 

you’ve talked shit about this country

 

expressing your pain in this country

 

aren’t you thankful we serve you in this country?

 

all you do is take money from this country

 

you ungrateful…”

 

 

Wait, wait, hold on. Ungrateful?

 

I wasn’t here by choice

 

America looked at me in the eye and told me it was time

 

there was barely anything else to consume in my country

 

so America consumed me when I packed my bags a road a plane to LA

 

now this beast got me trapped in his belly

 

and every day I struggle for a peace of mind

 

 

In the Philippines…

 

the aftermath of colonial war got our parents slain

 

that’s why children find a livin lookin up to white names

 

our rich culture and identity is left in hieroglyphics

 

now we live this sad reality today to be specific

 

 

Imagine houses made of cardboard and kids fifty pounds

 

kill each other for a bowl of soup, aint scared of the sound

 

of police, because it’s fight and die or don’t fight and die

 

this is Filipino reality when they look up to the sky

 

and see a billboard of the bully saying McDonald’s and Coke

 

reminding you that he can feed you and bring you some hope

 

that’s why we stab each other fearlessly, looking for change

 

but our hustle and our kill aint enough, it stays the same

 

each and every one of us tried to plant a seed to grow crops

 

but the bully buys it off so he could use it for stocks

 

he took our fruits with his Dole, took our milk with his Nestle

 

took our beach with his resort, took our shoes with his Nike’s

 

tells us we can’t progress, he’s convinced us we’re lazy

 

tells us we are less, while we watch his Hollywood babies

 

make us envy them and wish we were his little children

 

we look up to this cannibal who comes to us and we give him

 

what we have, but if we’re broke he comes to swallow us whole

 

am I supposed to feel good when he’s digesting what he stole?

 

digesting me, using me so he could grow, this tyrant

 

leviathan of the sea, ogre of a giant

 

 

We gave him all his nutrients, paying these taxes

 

working for less, build his success while he advances

 

he’s been to different lands, swallowed other brothers and sisters

 

now he says he will deport us as his belly gets stricter

 

as if we’re leaving his belly with more than we had before

 

his exploits, cost of living has made us remain poor

 

legal or illegal, immigrants boost the economy

 

washed white to bend in fields and prepared for sodomy

 

 

But maybe you’re right, maybe I should be grateful

 

in his belly with my mom’s paycheck-to-paycheck life

 

maybe I’d rather be here than my desolate land devoured

 

where billions of hungry mouths live each day with a dollar

 

 

Wherever I’m taken, without equity I’m restless

 

you see I’m not anti-American; I’m pro-justice.

Common Sites & Pages


Students

Faculty & Staff

Alumni/Parents