ENOUGH: Two Poems

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ENOUGH is a Rumpus series devoted to creating a dedicated space for essays, poetry, fiction, comics, and artwork by women, trans, and nonbinary people that engage with rape culture, sexual assault, and domestic violence.

 

 

Tight Asian Pussy 

I learned what it means to be
an Asian woman
when I was
fucked.

You know,
because I should be the
sweet    submissive     docile
China porcelain doll
that colonization tells me to represent.

Women everywhere are fucked
and fetishized for being just another
“Tight Asian Pussy” —
these white men
they will try to justify every reason as to how
“It’s just a preference,
just like how some people prefer blondes or brunettes,”
as if choosing a race
is like choosing between
different hair colors,
not like power dynamics don’t exist
between our genitals
or your skin color’s legacy of colonization.

Because 1 in 4 as the U.S. average for sexual assault
is TOO DAMN MUCH
and that’s only the women who report.
Who knows                 how many                   end up             dead

You left me speechless
when I asked you
to stop fucking me
and you didn’t.

“NO—I’LL LOSE MY ERECTION”

and I wish I didn’t have to hate
the color of my skin

and in these moments
I am afraid to speak up for being both
            Woman and Asian
as if that is just too much to handle
because these identities simply can’t coexist
without being seen as
            too damn complicated

And now
am I just another number to you?
another tally mark to add to your long list of Tight Asian Pussies
that you’ve had the utmost pleasure of colonizing?

I wish you didn’t matter
Because you’re just a FUCK to me.

I wish I learned earlier to
run far, far away from
“Ni hao” or “I love China.”

I wish I told myself
that it’s ok to be seen as a “bitch”
because at the end of the day
I need to look out for myself
and if that’s all I accomplished
that I saved my own world
then that’s
enough.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes
I will rise
and men?
Men should be afraid of the women
who have survived trauma.
We are more than you will ever stereotype us for
So don’t you dare FUCK with strong Asian women like us again
We have a fire in our bloods more potent
than your sperm will ever be.

Every day I learn
what it means to be
an Asian woman
Learning to love myself is not optional
It is imperative for survival
because
I am not my past
I am how
I overcome my trauma and pain.

I will set this world on fire
And I will love myself fiercely through these words
before you could even
fuck me raw
again.

 

 

Forgiveness

You knew he was dangerous from the first profile glance:
“I spend a lot of time thinking about
how to tell Asian women
that I’m genuinely only attracted to them
because I find them beautiful and don’t hold any sort of
culturally insensitive stereotypes about submissiveness.”

And you think you’re in control
of the situation,
Until you’re not.

He is the worst human you have ever met,
And you wish a thousand times over that you never met him.

So you spiral.

You are angry and emotional and numb and sad
Yet too romantic and too jaded and
exhausted and you hate yourself
every               single              fucking            day.

You tell people about your trauma too quickly
You never tell people about your trauma
It haunts you either way
the silence       or         the declaration
You’ve been fucked and that’s all you can think about.

And so you write poetry
Perform your heart out
Meet other survivors

They tell you lovely things:

“You are beautiful”                            “You are powerful”                            “You are strong”

They tell you terrible things:
“Don’t take this the wrong way          but
You are lucky this only happened to you       once.”

You end up with a lot of “Good job”s for your performance
But all you were really looking for was         a hug.

How do you forgive yourself?

You have nightmares
Day and night
Sporadically
Predictably
Exhaustingly
Endlessly.

You ache for love
You ache to be fixed
By someone else
Each person always feels like the answer
Maybe too much of an answer —
To trust someone else in order to “fully” heal
To feel like you could be loved again

And you had to realize:

Maybe you were scared to love
Maybe you were scared to love
yourself 
                                                this whole time.

Because you didn’t need to forgive yourself at all.

This wasn’t my fault,
This wasn’t your fault.
He should not have raped me,
He should not have raped you.
He should have fucked right off.
We are still beautiful.
We are still whole
And worthy of love.
I am still here,
You are still here,
And don’t you dare forget that.

So how do you heal?

You tell yourself it’s going to be okay
smile in the mirror
and love yourself
fiercely
painfully
imperatively
Despite the pain
Because of the pain
Because your pain is not you
It is a part of you
But it does not define you
And you are so much stronger than you believe right now.

You breathe
And cry
And cry again
because you are proud of how far
you have come
of how much love
you still have
to give.

You continue to write
because your refusal to stay silent
will be the mark you leave on this world
existing long after the memory of your trauma.

We all heal in our own time —
In our own bodies
In our own affirmations that we tell ourselves
In our writing.

 

 

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Rumpus original logo art by Luna Adler

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ENOUGH is a Rumpus original series devoted to creating a dedicated space for work by women, trans, and nonbinary people that engages with rape culture, sexual assault, and domestic violence. We believe that while this subject matter is especially timely now, it is also timeless. We want to make sure that this conversation doesn’t stop—not until our laws and societal norms reflect real change.

Many names appearing in these stories have been changed.

Visit the archives here.


Hai Meilai is an Asian American poet who is healing through her writing. More from this author →