thought you could “scare the shit out of me.” thought i would burst into tears, that i would “go back to where i came from.” my face an affront to your being. my being, in your deranged eyes, a virus. charging down broadway in an open bathrobe, fellow person of colour. you don’t know the mountains of shit i’ve eaten. unlike you, i earned my place in this country. swam in darkness for seven years. almost drowned in a flooded cave. so now the danger of walking around an unsupervised woman? bounces right off my hardened shell. you try to swallow me and i’ll stick to your throat. if you don’t choke, i’ll come back up like heartburn, eating through your insides. you burn me and i’ll rise from the fucking stake.