There’s enough pressure of being a teenager when engaging in all types of relationships. And, being a minority adds another complicated layer to these connections, as not everyone you meet will be able to wrap their head around the differences between communities. Dating as an Asian-American woman I have found immense struggles when dealing with someone who lacks respect for my culture. “Finger Trap” displays my emotions when thinking I could be with someone, until they started to show signs of ignorance. I have found it incredibly hard to come to terms with my differences, which often set me apart from the community I am in. And, through experiences like the one this poem, I have realized that my culture and identity cannot be compromised for anyone.
Am I supposed to feel remorse?
As you go headfirst into my customs.
Unmindful of the new moon,
Stretching your mind around rooms without crosses.
Should I feel bad for not giving you an escape option?
You seem to adore my disparity,
Until your homogenous friends mouth off about my lack of familiarity,
And I become a caricature of your history book.
You secretly knew I wouldn’t be able to see through every white lie you told,
Kicking dirt into my eyes because you didn’t take off your shoes,
Wearing a large four on your head.
Should I feel bad for not turning this into your home?
Should I have hid the pictures, burning our relics in the street again?
Should I have become a mascot, for you and your awful friends?
Were you expecting me to throw away centuries of tradition for you?