Sandy Sun Hae Lee
Brooklyn, NY USA
Born in Seoul, Korea
American citizen for 50 years


Micro aggressions, a part of my whole life
You’re so great at math
Can you see out of those eyes
Run your fingers through my ebon straight hair, go ahead, invade my privacy

Corona, you’ve given life a whole new level of aggressions

More looks when I walk in to the market
More looks when I walk down the street
Looks when I have a mask on before it was suggested
Ask me what part of China I’m from
Ask me how long I’ve been in this country
Shock and awe when I open my mouth and a Brooklyn accent comes out

Motherfuckers I’m more New York than most of you!

Can I take a nice social distance walk in the park with my Puerto Rican husband and Korican son?
Even that brings pain to my soul
Why dad with your stroller did you stare at me with horror and then SWERVE into the fence to avoid me?
Why did I laugh at that moment thinking you’re just a fool?
Why when I look back do I see you walking past 4 white folks with no trace of a SWERVE?
Why did that hurt my soul so badly?

I thought I got over it
I told myself it was just a dad being cautious


I’m far from over it, it’s imbedded in my psyche
Added to all the hurt already there
Did you SWERVE to protect your child from the virus carrying Asian?
Did you SWERVE because our President keeps calling it the China Virus?
Did you SWERVE because of your ingrained racism?
Did you fucking SWERVE because you didn’t even realize how hurtful you’re being?

I am human like you
I have feelings that hurt like you
I have ANGER, more than you
I have fear for myself and my loved ones just like you

SWERVE away from ingrained racism
SWERVE away from your biased assumptions
SWERVE away from your fears
SWERVE in to your discomfort
SWERVE in towards understanding
SWERVE in to love for others struggling just like you or more than you

Help my scarred heart, mind and soul begin to heal.


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