A Meal for the Man On the Redline

These words will bite, 

Acid bubbling

At the pit of your bowels

Vowels volatile won’t

Be easy to swallow.

Bring your heirloom silverware.

Cut at the crux

Of your tangled roots and


We can fix it all.

Our petty vile history.

You said,

“Tuck in your shirt. Show

Some respect, young man.”

So I’ll straighten my leash

And be your waiter. Waiting

For your petals to open,

Let you drink my tears.

To quench your thirst

To cleanse your pallet.

Try a piece of my fiber

An appetizing teaser.

May my rhythms

Fill your growling belly

Growing with contempt

Empty. Contemplate

This feast, plates piled

Plenty to subsist

Our perpetual communion

May this hunger never end.

Growl on as I was

Minding my own. Ear buds

Plugged in. Your foot

Propped out.

It wasn’t the taste

Of downtrodden dumps

That you smeared across my

Face. These words:

“Can you even see


Out of those

Squinty eyes?”

More like,

“Go back to China,

You chink.”


What keeps me

Awake is that I

Did not.

Could not

Speak. Up. Get. Up.

My skin still crawling

On that shit-

Stained train.

My tongue bleeds

I bit down. Hard.

Not from when my chin

Met the ground.

It’s simply not polite

To yell at your elders

Said some buddha with a beard

Confucius, no?

A simple “Fuck you, too”

Would have sufficed,

But here I am. My smiles

Serving your tall tables.

How can I

Help you?

Without spoon—

Feeding you the answers.


I refuse to send my


Down your shadowy tunnels.

Forget your choo-choo


Choices. They’re

Not on the menu today.

This is homemade. Be careful.

It’s hot.



Stephen Lin ’16
Contributing Writer

How about some dumplings

To start and maybe an order

Of fried rice



Is this not

What you came for?

Looking for fortunes

In a cookie?

Bad news,

Bear it.

I am not

Your China Town.

Stop trying

To compart-

Mentalize me.

I do not speak for Asia.

It’s kind of a continent.

I don’t Jeet Kune Do

Like Bruce Lee

Or Wing Chun

Like Ip Man.

I won’t dance for you.

I won’t twist my legs

Behind my head for

Cheap thrills.

I’m a cut throat-

Lover. Not a fighter

And my words

Will leave you speechless.

I will outlive.

Just as I outlived

My middle school

Tormentors and their minions.

Their “ching-chongs”

Left scars that they dared

To call calligraphy—

I outgrew that portrait.

Climbed out of

Windowless opium dens

And now I see right

Through your monuments.

My eyes are not closed.

Your towers are merely

Made of glass

Not ivory.

And my Great Wall

Was built on the backs

Of my people—

No trespassing.

So liken me

To that buck-


Grinning gremlin

That you call


Riddle with my anatomy

Belittle centuries

Of sacred tradition. Go ahead.

Eat till you’re content.

But if you have come

To try my takeout

Message, I will not

Sugarcoat it.

I am more

Raw than any

Sashimi you’ve ever sampled.

And if you have come to vulture

At some Red Dragon Buffet,

Hungry for dim sum

And then some,

Then you missed your stop, sir.

Go get your own damn food.