• Featured Writer/Artist

“i think i’m invisible”

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

by Kelley Kwok

i think i’m invisible.

just that shy


girl in the background

fading into the air

because i don't belong

with my midnight hair

small brown eyes

and yellow skin

asians are attacked

(and no one cares)

so if i am killed

(no one will care)

i think i’m invisible

they make fun of eyes

right in front of my face

what if i disappeared

i think i’m invisible

(and no one cares)

racist jokes so normalized

that racism against us

is invisible

i think i’m invisible.

(do you care?)

This poem highlights how racism against Asians is normalized to the extent that we accept it and often feel like an outcast. Kwok stresses how feelings of "invisibility are motivated by the notion that “nobody cares”. How no one notices our community’s achievements or failures. The lack of correct grammar in the poem is intentional and portrayed how the Asian American community is exhausted with the bigotry and alienation. Kwok draws her poem from a deeply personal place. Wrestling with Asian-stereotypes proved endless as she was forced to be held at a much higher standard than her peers. Kwoks work draws upon the “model minority myth” facing asian youth. Racism against Asians has always been a normalized issue that many do not even recognize it as racism. She argues such microaggressions have robbed many asians of their individuality, as they are forced to live their life in a specific ‘box’ shaped by society’s prejudices. Kwok’s work argues how important it is that, as a community, we reclaim our identity and our culture.

Kelley Kwok is a 13 year-old from New York City. At a young age, She learned to play the piano, and later began to write poems. In addition, she strives for environmental and social change. Kwok has always wrestled with her identity and Asian stereotypes. “I have always been a shy person, and being Asian often ‘solidified’ that even more. Being Asian also meant [I was] held to much higher academic standards than others because people assume that ‘Asians are good at math’ “. Kwok champions the budding artistic movement in her community. “The creative arts is something that Asians are often underrepresented in. This needs to change, because there should be equal representation in all industries”.

Originally created and posted on September 11, 2020 via Instagram (@creativelyasian) by Pooja Manjakandy, Creative Director of Literary Arts. Click to go to the original post!