You ask, “How are you?”
I pose myself with the same question
“How am I?”
I pray the pain that comes with my name will slowly subside.
I pray my name will be remembered, if, in this world, my body no longer resides
Within those stained glass walls that echo holy tunes
Will one day echo solutions to why my throat suffocates at the grip of holy scriptures, you preach but do not practice.
God, help me, for I don’t even know how I truly am.
You tell me, “maybe you’re “sick.”
I am sick of being sad.
Does being sad equate to being sick?
I can be excused if I’m sick
But I can’t say it’s because I’m sad
Maybe, I am sick.
Maybe, I’m possessed.
Maybe I’m depressed.
You pass me the Bible as though it’s Psalms are
these verses will not heal me
and as if you hear my words, use yours to bruise me.
A punching bag I am,
For your words and hands.
Because if your words don’t reach me
Then maybe your fists could teach me.
You say “You’re Tongan”
I am Tongan,
But not in the way you want me,
Why do I not have the strength they say runs through my veins?
I am not strong enough to seal my internal thoughts
I am not the seat of Tu’i Tonga.
I am not the vessel carrying the blood of Christ.
I cannot whisper to seashells hugging our shores
and I was too lazy to build the Ha’amonga.
But I am a Ngatu pattern, unwritten.
However, you have written for me a narrative
I must pretend to be.
You ask “How are you?”
I say “Sai pe, malo.”