III. FROM YELLOW FEVER GIRLS BY ASTRID LIU

the first and

only time i ever dance

with another queer asian girl

i somehow find at a party

like some kinda rainbow bat

echolocation lottery

and she

does not stop me in the middle of

hands sliding down

does not turn to me and tell me i'm

too obsessed with the intersection of queer and

asian

does not wrinkle her nose away

from my nose bumping hers

at the bite of ginger

sucking marks into her neck

does not have stringy blond hair

i couldn't help but covet in kindergarten

does not shy away from

my hand sliding over bold thick brows and

curly black lines covering her arms

does not pat at my stomach and

tell me i should eat less

just like those girls in ariana grande's videos

no she

enough sexy foreign and just enough polite

caretaker therapist

that echo of my mother starts to quiet down


and as we stumble into hallways

pin against one neon lit wall

i knock down a bloodier one

thick burgundy ooze

hardened and

crystallized against

mama telling me

not to be so gay during

cantonese sermon

rosalind telling me

to shut up about being chinese we get it you're

radical can you stop?


and i've slid my own hands down my body

queer asian girl loving queer asian girl her own

damn self

worshiped at my temple or whatever the

refinery 29 articles say

jumped hurdles painted white

and walls soaked with my own blood

on the way to loving myself

and she is not

some magical therapist girl who

fixes me and

heals all my issues but

this is the first time

i ever realized that

who i am is not some mythical creature to spread

on the news and goggle and grope at parties

but just

a breathing

queer asian

woman

worthy of love

cradles my yellow chin closer

snakes my hands to her visible belly

soft and rough at the same time


and i release a breath

i didn't know i was holding for 19 years

the voice in my head that yells

DONT FUCK IT UP you'll never find a girl who'll

understand you so DONT be too much just

enough sexy foreign and just enough polite

caretaker therapist

that echo of my mother starts to quiet down

and as we stumble into hallways

pin against one neon lit wall

i knock down a bloodier one

thick burgundy ooze

hardened and

crystallized against

mama telling me

not to be so gay during

cantonese sermon

rosalind telling me

to shut up about being chinese we get it you're

radical can you stop?

and i've slid my own hands down my body

queer asian girl loving queer asian girl her own

damn self

worshiped at my temple or whatever the

refinery 29 articles say

jumped hurdles painted white

and walls soaked with my own blood

on the way to loving myself

and she is not

some magical therapist girl who

fixes me and

heals all my issues but

this is the first time

i ever realized that

who i am is not some mythical creature to spread

on the news and goggle and grope at parties

but just

a breathing

queer asian

woman

worthy of love