Yellow

Dear Asian Youth,

It’s six letters with a double L

Ballet, allure, pollen, hollow – small

We’re on an outdoor stage

The sunflowers are in full bloom

My skin tone doesn’t match the slippers

Light places a sandpaper kiss against my lips

Yellow confetti’s strung around my hips like a choker:

A forgotten afternoon or purposefully left-behind heirloom

It’s the name of a Coldplay song

The first time I heard “Yellow” in Chinese, I played it on repeat

I wanted to dance, but – by then – I’d stopped tapping my feet

It’s not the stars that make the night sky complete

Yellow is the soft, incandescent flicker of light bulbs and neon signs

They light up Chinatown at 11PM while store owners sigh

Mud-stained streets

Beneath them: dark, dirty feet

Yellow is liminal space and not being seen

It’s knowing you’ll never be clean

Yellow is feeling small and not having space

Yellow is not feeling safe

Yellow is heartache and drowning in ocean waves

It’s shaking when you hear a gunshot and wondering what will be left in your wake

Asian Girl, will you leave behind memories? Or just dreamscapes and a splash of paint?

Yellow is loving the color inside of you

It’s also wishing you could trade the paint buckets for something more plain

It’s unimaginable pain when I turn on the news

But yellow is also a celebration

It’s Dragon festival lanterns – their flames a technicolor exaltation

Fireworks spark through the night like an exhalation

Inhale. Exhale. Sunlight filtered through the leaves like Gold and Aromatherapy

That Tuesday, but I can breathe, so I’ll be grateful today

Yellow is quiet circulation

Yellow is not the plastic, white stars on my bedroom ceiling

Yellow is an entire constellation

It’s Artemis chasing Orion in a never-ending loop

Something akin to the tune of ouroboros that I would like to dance to

Yellow is a

Visible

Painful

Beautiful

Reminder

That I am not small

I am not nothing, but an infinitude of thoughts, feelings, and experiences

That cannot be defined

Bathed in yellow – as I have always been and always will be

I am in love with my life.

– Amber Ting

Cover Photo Source: https://www.wabe.org/vox-atl-teen-looks-at-colorism-outdated-beauty-standards-in-asian-community/