by Sarah Audsley
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.