I knew a girl once,
who wanted to leave China for school, instead
She spent eight years with a man who,
told her what she could do,
told her what she could say.
told her she wouldn’t leave.
She got out, left the only world she knew.
It took spine.
Years later I see her, in her ¥4000 sunglasses,
and ¥5000 shoes, and ¥8000 vacations, and
¥9000 air purifiers, and the friends that never stay,
and the men who are never enough,
and the leaving that never came.
A different kind of shackle.
Dead dreams, dead weights in the closet.
No, the grandmas never bothered me.
The people who pour their sweat and blood
to make a dream happen.
Your dad for your family, so you could read
books on the streets of New York without
a worry for the universe except a moment
with the protagonist.
No, the dicks on Rick Owen’s runways never bothered me.
Your Berrin and your Jill and your Tara and
your Qing Qing in Damir Doma
and your think pieces in Garmento
never bothered me.
What bothered me was girl never left.