He says he can tell I’m from the Bronx
and I smile
because I am a foreigner in this country

and that’s what you do
when you are in a place
you don’t belong.

I didn’t know I was American
until I came to Paris.
Here, they don’t care that I’m black

but their eyes still linger on me a bit longer.
He says Mike Tyson is from the Bronx
I smile.

He says he’s Russian.
And I want to cock my neck
say, “My country beat your country in a war

and stole your name.
Now you can’t even remember the taste of
your motherland’s breast milk.

That’s a childish thing to do,
I know.
It’s a dangerous thing to say to a man

who can spit in my face and call me a bitch.
Or maybe,
that’s just a foreigner thing.

I’m so American,
I will walk into another person’s home
and act like I built it.