Paige Hernandez

Pioneers of a New Breed

Orbit: The Asian American Issue
Volume 15:3, Summer 2014

Pioneers of a New Breed

Grown man, Baltimore bred, Army fed
Tattoos on his guns, one of three sons
Black power pride, dark insides
Charm outside, no love…untied

Late at night, his plane took flight
14 hours over night out of sight
Landed in combat, took one in the spleen
Started to lean, new opium feen
Couldn’t get back, had to stay to recover
had to stay to discover
a new meaningful lover

She was in a market buying pastries and sweets
Hair swept real neat
Really small feet
Ni hao…ni hao
And their eyes met
pupils reflect

He reaches for her hand to see what she’s buying but
She pulls back with a jerk
“It’s an army shirt
That’s why’s my arm is in a sling
Mean men do mean things
The bandage won’t even cling”
She nods
And touches his wound and dresses it properly
Right there on the spot, it takes a lot
To touch this black man in public
But she does it
And feels magnetism within

He’s on base and then with her for most of the days
Recipes wrapped in fish and broth
Adorned in silk or embroidered cloth
She’s a sweet flower delicate yet rooted
So outspoken but in their relationship muted
But her spirit holds histories of power
And that alone can make a grown man weak
They munch on mung bean sweet
and roast duck and herbal teas
With her he feels free.
And when you’re locked up who wouldn’t want to feel free forever.

They got married on base and sipped on shark fin’s soup.
But he insisted on chicken wings
Honeymoon in Beijing
Staying hidden from the world as our worlds collide
They are different, inconsistent, and resistant
Buddhist, meditation, quiet and militant
Yin and yang. So obscure it’s their thing.
Not sure what love brings
He leans in with a ring
(Blank stare)
Lost in translation
So she rubs his shoulder instead and he smiles
He found his wife, love measured in miles
They took the garden path and made it their aisle
Then pricked their fingers…
Placed blood in vials.

That night, he lays her down to bed
As she proceeds to make a purple heart red
He is set free, no longer a prisoner
And just then he begins to grow within her
A mutual conception based on a creed

At that moment they agreed to pioneer the Blasian breed


Paige Hernandez is known for her innovative fusion of poetry, hip hop, dance, and education. She has performed at The Folger Theatre, the Kennedy Center, Manship Theatre, The Wharton Center, Cleveland Playhouse and many others. Hernandez's choreography will be featured in 2014 at Imagination Stage, Forum Theatre and Olney Theatre. With her company B-Fly Entertainment,Hernandez has toured her children's show Havana Hop and her one woman show, Paige in Full: A B-girl's Visual Mixtape throughout the country.