This selection, chosen by guest curator Addie Tsai, is from Monkey Was Here by Jasmine An, released by Porkbelly Press in 2020.
Cashier Calls Monkey “Sir” in Ben & Jerry’s
I am an Oriental. And being an Oriental, I could never be completely a man.
– Song from M. Butterfly
I am an Oriental Macaque.
White man, don’t reach
under my fur skirt. I pack
with a silk bag full of peach
pits. I will always be harder
than you, yet just as lost. Breach
birthed, I was born of a blunder
towards your masculinity,
yours of the ever larger
cocks. To strut convincingly,
I need the largest junk.
This, you tried to teach me.
But, white man, I debunk
you. Peach pits are no phallus
and weren’t meant to be.
My iron staff grows longer
or shorter on my command.
Most days, I keep it tucked
behind my right ear, the size
of a toothpick. I strangle you
with my eyes. Wake every morning
and dress myself with my own bare hands.
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