By | 1 February 2021

Cognitive dissonance is an Asian woman
who has to carry her grandmother’s special Phở
in her lukewarm blood to impress at dinner parties,
be after schooled in strings and numbers:
a hothouse orchid with no outside breeze

She has to be an ingenue unwise to the ways of men
who largely want her for her smallness
the wriggling cheongsam the flutter fingers
then stillness: bamboo waist and water lily serene
lickable caramel against their burly chests

Everyone loves a happy migrant story:
leaky prawn trawler to valedictorian
a seam of jade trapped in ancestral dust
to be extracted and rubbed to sheen
she is blazing a trail to prove her worth.

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