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By Chen Chen

You are the ice cream sandwich connoisseur of your generation.


Blessed are your floral shorteralls, your deeply pink fanny pack with 
travel-size lint roller just in case.


Level of splendiferous in your outfit: 200.


Types of invisible pain stemming from adolescent disasters in classrooms, locker rooms, & quite often Toyota Camrys: at least 10,000.


You are not a jigglypuff, not yet a wigglytuff.


Reporters & fathers call your generation “the worst.”


Which really means “queer kids who could go online & learn that queer doesn’t have to mean disaster.”


Or dead.


Instead, queer means, splendiferously, you.


& you means someone who knows that common flavors for ice cream 
sandwiches in Singapore include red bean, yam, & honeydew.


Your powers are great, are growing.


One day you will create an online personality quiz that also freshens the breath.


The next day you will tell your father, You were wrong to say that I had to change.


To make me promise I would. To make me promise.


& promise.


Source: Poetry (March 2021)

  • Living
  • Relationships
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Chen Chen
Chen Chen’s debut collection, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award. He teaches at Brandeis University. See More By This Poet

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