the Star-Spangled Banner played and I didn’t have my hands on my heart
next thing I know, someone came up to me
his annoying ass told me this:
“You anti-American immigrant leech
if you don’t like America, why don’t you leave?
if you don’t like America, why don’t you go home?
you’ve talked trash about this country
expressing your pain in this country
aren’t you thankful we serve you in this country?
all you do is take money from this country
Wait, wait, hold on.. Ungrateful?
I wasn’t here by choice
America looked at me in the eye and told me it was time
there was barely anything else to consume in my country
so America consumed me when I packed my bags a road a plane to LA
now this beast has got me trapped in his belly
and every day I struggle for a peace of mind
In the Philippines…
the aftermath of colonial war got our parents slain
our rich culture and identity is left in hieroglyphics
that’s why children find a livin lookin up to white names
now we live this sad reality today to be specific
Imagine houses made of cardboard and kids fifty pounds
kill each other for a bowl of soup, aint scared of the sound
of police, because it’s fight and die or don’t fight and die
this is Filipino reality when they look up to the sky
and see a billboard of the bully saying McDonald’s and Coke
reminding you that he can feed you and bring you some hope
that’s why we stab each other fearlessly, looking for change
but our hustle and our kill aint enough, it stays the same
each and every one of us tried to plant a seed to grow crops
but the bully buys it off so he could use it for stocks
he took our fruits with his Dole, took our milk with his Nestle
took our beach with his resort, took our shoes with his Nike’s
tells us we can’t progress, he’s convinced us we’re lazy
tells us we are less, while we watch his Hollywood babies
make us envy them and wish we were his little children
we look up to this cannibal who comes to us and we give him
what we have, but if we’re broke he comes to swallow us whole
am I supposed to feel good when he’s digesting what he stole?
digesting me, using me so he could grow, this tyrant
leviathan of the sea, ogre of a giant
We gave him all his nutrients, paying these taxes
working for less, build his success while he advances
he’s been to different lands, swallowed other brothers and sisters
now he says he will deport us as his belly gets stricter
as if we’re leaving his belly with more than we had before
his exploits, cost of living has made us remain poor
legal or illegal, immigrants boost the economy
washed white to bend in fields and prepared for sodomy
But maybe you’re right, maybe I should be grateful
in his belly with my mom’s paycheck-to-paycheck life
maybe I’d rather be here than my desolate land devoured
where billions of hungry mouths live each day with a dollar
Wherever I’m taken, without equity I’m restless
you see I’m not anti-American; I’m pro-justice.
the belly. jean teodoro.