In those days, there was no Asian Jesus.
My mother searched the Salvation Army, a neighborhood
garage sale, asked a family friend.
“There must be somebody,
somewhere,” she said, “who sells holy ceramic statues
with black hair, small eyes, chubby cheeks.”
She was nearly talking about Buddha.
In the end, she bought
a porcelain man we stood
atop the altar to bend our bodies
towards for bedtime incantations.
Afterwards, I dreamt of white Jesus
wearing a white robe, rushing after me
from white clouds of white smoke
with his powder skin, white as a ghost.
He had talons & Colgate clean teeth
clenched inside an angry beak,
squawking the same words
they tried to teach me in school.
I woke up to choke out words
of a prayer, but all that came out
was dinner, chunked.
Years later my brother & I
would accidentally break him apart
& hide the shards in a grocery bag
under the bed.
“Who was he to us anyway?” we asked.
“Some white guy,” we said under our breaths,
heads down, hands clasped.