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