Not That Asian (Or, There Are More Blissful Things Than Ignorance)
so it goes like this right—
i’m Asian in America and i walk into a bar
i’m racially ambiguous because they said so
i know my pussy’s tight because they said so
i should know more about where i’m from
(no, where i’m really from)
because it’s the first thing they’ll ask
i forget about my septum ring for a minute
i forget about my bleached hair
i forget about the pieces of me i have chosen
some guy sees my ANGRY ASIAN GIRLS shirt,
says, i can deal with angry, but can’t deal with an accent.
for all intents and purposes
and because the rule applies in Boston
more often than it doesn’t,
this guy’s name is michael.
michael tells me i’m a special kind of beautiful
he sometimes uses the word exotic in his pick up line
but not always
michael works as a freelance stylist.
michael is interested in photographing me.
michael is trying to get noticed by i-D.
i can’t tell if he’s into me because i’m Asian
or because i’m Not That Asian
but either way
it makes me feel like shit
michael talks about traveling
and never stops talking about himself.
but i still let him put his hand on my knee
is a funny, learned thing.
michael has kissed me hundreds of times.
he kissed my mother in 1981 on spring break at uc irvine
and my grandmother during the war.
he kissed them real hard.
he held them down.
he praised them exotic
and they always smiled
almost as though
knew the script.