I Am Indonesian

I am Indonesian.

Says my passport.
So I say whenever anyone
asks about citizenship.
But that isn’t a completely correct
declaration.  Wrong punctuation.
The correct one is this:

I am Indonesian?

Nearly nine years of living in the States.
There grew my heart and mind.
Sometimes I identify myself
as one of them.  But I don’t count
as one of them.

I am Indonesian.

Believe me,
I have experienced every kind of trial
the common Indonesian has.
I’ve suffered.
But whenever I take him out
for sushi or pizza, my husband wonders.

I am Indonesian?

America used to be strange to me,
a stranger.
But nine years can do away with strangeness.
Now my homeland is the strange one.
But I am no stranger here,
just a dumb oddity.

I am Indonesian.

Slowly my skin is getting darker.
Day by day I lose track of time.
Sometimes I break the rules to get my way.
Often I share answers with my “friends.”
But in my heart it is not
dangdut or keroncong
or whiny pop songs that beat.
In my veins it is not only red and white that run.
Once again I am outside looking in.
Still a while till I find the keys to this home.
It won’t be soon for me to know for sure.

I am Indonesian?

September 2014

Phew, translations are messy. This is subject to change. View the Indonesian version here


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