i probably look like you –maybe not
all of you, but likely some of you.
maybe just a small portion. like an
entire suburban area of nearly a million people
kind of small. but that does not
automatically mean that i understand
speak write read eat smell drink
like you. it does not mean that i
must respond to you in which ever
language and dialect you choose
to begin conversation with and then
condescend me for not understanding.
that look: “what? you’re brown! how can
you not understand?! you must!”
but must i? here’s a different episode
from my immigrant diary, of people
of so many different ignorant shades
demanding that i learn their language
for their own benefit when they care not
to learn my mother tongue bangla in return.
a young man demanded to know today
where i was from and i lied and canada
and he said, no really, and i replied firmly,
yes really, only to be asked “no, your background.”
the background of my computer is the
fucking ocean and i’m sorry that we
do not share the same language but
i cannot give you any damn concessions good sir.
—  nav k, ignorance in brown