Fairytales in the Key of Immigration

Fairytales are supposed to have happy endings, are they not?


Peter Pan flies orphans to Neverland as

the promising plane takes off 

from terminal 1 in 上海 

through Ellis Island, America’s Neverland,

carrying a Farmer & a Schoolgirl 

built of Western wishes & Eastern

eyes & Homesick hearts & American



Instead of sweet candy covering caramel-soaked cruelty,

a witch named America tempts Farmer Boy & Schoolgirl

with pledges of “liberty and justice for all.” In the shadows,

star-glazed Freedom veils the perfume of xenophobia

that trail the Farmer Boy & the Schoolgirl

like a permanent scent.


Schoolgirl during the day & now Waitress by night

falls under America’s false fable of stumbling

down a rabbit hole & somehow making it to

Wonderland. Soon she’ll realize that 

rabbits scurry away & scowl at her

matted oriental fur. 


Like the Little Mermaid, Farmer Boy trades

his voice for silence, under the petty guise of

a utopia; but foreign tongue slipping

up licking ounces of confidence slurping

mandarin soup, until immigrant blood 

purifies to a Western white, 

distills his dreams into a dystopia. 


Fairytales are supposed to have happy endings, 

are they not? Farmer Boy & Schoolgirl 

are weeded of their innocence, 

plowed of their culture, & skinned

to even have a chance of happily ever after. 

Model minority myth infects the immigrant fantasy 

as a nightmare plagues 

their American Dream.

You might also like

More from this author