We flipped through
the magazine and didn’t recognize her
in the glossy spread, the lighting just right, hair shiny black,
cheekbones round, dark eyes glinting back at us.
Lucky. Selected for Asian Beauty. I wanted to be her, chosen
right off the streets in New York for Vogue.
Yes, vanity. But, what if I am always five, always
running from the coach’s son who’s shouting
“Flat face!” at me, and I’m always questioning, don’t
recognize the feeling of my fingers touching my nose
(not flat), the contours of a face reflected in mirrors.
Coveted forms of Asian Beauty—
bound tulip-sized feet, docile or timid,
thin yet unbreakable—of course, of course.
Let’s line up all the fetishes
in rows like hardened pearls.
Sarah Audsley has received support for her work from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and residencies from the Vermont Studio Center and the Banff Centre’s Writing Studio. Recent work can be found in Four Way Review, The Massachusetts Review, Memorious, Scoundrel Time, and Tupelo Quarterly, among others. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and serves as the Staff Artist, Writing Program Coordinator at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.