A Poem by Dorothy Chan

Dorothy Chan

Dorothy Chan

Dorothy Chan (she/they) is the author of BABE (Diode Editions 2021), Revenge of the Asian Woman (Diode Editions, 2019), Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (Spork Press, 2018), and the chapbook Chinatown Sonnets (New Delta Review, 2017). Chan is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Editor Emeritus of Hobart, Book Reviews Co-Editor of Pleiades, and Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Honey Literary Inc., a 501(c)(3) literary arts organization. 

Ode to Sitting Courtside at a Lakers Game

           The ideal relationship is courtside at a Lakers Game
chowing on three hotdogs: extra relish and mustard,
           because life is about seeing and being seen, taking me
back to an MTV childhood when Carmen Electra
           was voted Most Pauseworthy Female, and the language
was all wrong, but she was so right in declaring life
           wasn’t worth living unless there was a camera around—
how La La Anthony called her a smart girl, and who would

                                                     ever be in denial. I could be your attention whore, your
                                        millennial cam girl, your straight no chaser brat, your
                                                     ideal when the waterfall hits my nipples, the wet hair
                                         look, and I read stories about women showering ahead
                                                     of time, throwing on enough eyeliner and mascara—
                                         the camera trick—the narrative we set in our sex lives—
                                                     we all want to look beautiful on command, but what
                                         about connection. I’m extra wet in bed in this moment. V

           is for very very sexy. V is for video burned to
DVD burned to Blu-Ray burned to a streaming
           service near you, and it’s strange to live through
more than one decade. V is for verde, the color of
           celebrity kitchens nowadays, and I dream of getting
pounded right on the counter next to a bowl of fruits,
           or how in college, we’d stare at Cezanne and call it
very very sexy attention to detail—these fruits—
           those oranges—that attention to detail, and undress

                                                     me like a peach because V is the letter Mad Men once
                                         were most afraid of, questioning if women would ever fly
                                                     Virgin Air or buy products that started with letter V,
                                         when we all know now virginity is a social construct,
                                                     and the question isn’t When did she lose her virginity
                                         but When did she gain her sexuality or When did her
                                                     sexuality come into full play?
It’s vulva not vagina that
                                         gives pleasure. According to blonde women, a candle can

          smell like a vagina. According to brunette women,
the modifier for le vagine shouldn’t be masculine
          but feminine. But I like to be called bro is what
I’d say back. A man tells me I’m not very butch
          after I tell him I’m into feminine women. Vacant.
V is for versatility and serving up some realness.
          Every day is the beauty pageant of the Monopoly
game. V is for vendetta or the comic book you’d draw

                                                     me in, or how kink queen Violet Chachki once said
                                         drag was the art of not looking like a woman but
                                                     a drawing of a woman. V is for Vanessa Williams
                                         playing woman Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty having
                                                     hot sex with her hunk of a bodyguard right before
                                         her wedding to the old white man. If you were sitting
                                                     courtside at the Lakers would your bodyguard block
                                         everyone else’s view? I sure hope not. Pass me a hotdog.