Chinese Girl Strikes Back


I know what I’m getting myself into

when he’s naked in bed, and I’m doodling

bears, bows, speech balloons, and bunnies

on the hotel notepad, because I’m a 5’4”

Chinese girl with a baby face and a chest

that keeps growing, so I might as well keep

the image up—my superpower, my seduction—

my forever line of telling strangers that I don’t

like to dance, but I do like to grind on men, then

run away, or how I always look oh so innocent

no matter what I’m doing, like right now,

as I’m plastering my hotel masterpieces

all over his chiseled body, and damn boy,

I want to take a picture, eat you up, rub you


all over, but actually, I don’t, and I think about

what my friend Adam says about power—the ways

I have it, the way I can tell that this man I’m with

in this hotel room has Yellow Fever—Asian Fetish—

whatever you want to call the whole nine yards or

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Sundae of wanting

the Eastern Other—the Woman with Cat Eyes

and black silky hair, as lover, and I feel like a femme

fatale. And I really should run, but as Adam says,

and I know all too well, I love how this man doesn’t

know that I know about his case of Yellow Fever,

and I’m sure his bros have it too—his Achille’s Heel—

his googly eyes at my round face and lips acting like

I could chop something off any minute, and I remember


the plastic carrot and turnip toys with knife

I had as a kid, chopping each section of fake

vegetable off, but really, there’s a beauty in

this mystery of him not knowing that I know.

It’s a hidden superpower, I say to Kristin and Alex

in San Francisco after Alex says his superpower

is blending in, and of course, we’re not talking about

powers like strength or invisibility or flight or talking

to fish or x-ray vision, which is a damn shame, because

I’d take x-ray vision any day, but I guess, back in

the hotel room, I don’t even need it, as this man

is naked in bed while I’m doodling, and I’m that

Chinese girl who strikes back—running away when

I’m done chopping something valuable off of you.

Dorothy Chan