I Just Got Back – Georgia Park

I just got back into the US
and someone said
are you sure you want to
go back there?
It’s getting kind of dangerous
This was an American.

I once crossed a border
on my hands and knees in the dirt
to get back to America
where you can drink the water
and there’s hospitals
and people speak my language
easily, free flowing
even when my words tumble and fail me
when I’m dehydrating rapidly

where no one mistakes me for a Russian
with all the implications
of being a Russian immigrant woman
alone at night or in the morning

Where at least I could call the police
although I wouldn’t recommend it
for my baby brother
I’ve trained him in the art
of not getting shot
for his skin color

Korea had signs up in the bars of Seoul
saying no Africans allowed here
because of Ebola,
the Thai would not allow their own people in
to the more expensive places,
I was run down with a car in Costa Rica
by people sneering gringa,
I was chased in panama
and almost kidnapped
(two separate occasions),
in Nicaragua the white man pedophilia
was rampant-so they thought
I was with a sex tourist,
I dropped out of my own
high school
because they spit at me
and called me gay-
I carry mace in the united states,
when people come near me
I back away.
I’m not safe here
the way I had been in Asia
but I was well aware of that
coming back
to where
my aging father is weeping suddenly
and telling all of his children
to run run to Canada
but I just got back here
to be with him
and I’m not leaving
ever again

gparkGeorgia Park has a BA in creative writing and has recently begun to showcase her work after years of world travel. Her poetry has recently been accepted by Halfway Down the Stairs literary magazine, Wraith Infirmity Muses, Holy Crow Art and The Scarlet Tongue Project. She currently lives with two similarly artsy roommates in Salem, MA, where she is pursuing a graduate degree and a promising career in education.