Anna May Wong Stars in a Silent Film

Girl, Azure Arnot

After Sally Wen Mao

All I remember is the glare 

of cameras. Every mouth I’ve met

is a flight risk which is to say that no one will kiss me 

offscreen. Instead, I am propped 

up against a slick of women. 

Men like me most

this way: a duplicate, voice drowned

out by the masses. They marvel 

at the comma-curve of my back, the hairlessness

of my limbs. I am best when shaved 

into something digestible. I never stick 

in the clutch of a throat. They insert 

my face into a TIME centerfold & joke 

that this is affirmative action. The truth is I am not good enough

to play myself in films because my skin

is likened to jaundice — who could love an

affliction? I am an illness

which is to say I did this

to them. The enemy

bears a striking resemblance to me. A man says 

he wants to watch me unravel in a shallow pool of rain. I know better 

than to call it a tragedy — this is just Thursday. 

If I could speak, I’d say when the little match girl immolates 

be courteous & watch.

About the Author

Jasmine Cui · Emory University

Jasmine Cui is a Political Science and Economics student at Emory University. She is the Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Ellis Review. “Anna May Wong Stars in a Silent Film” first appeared in Gandy Dancer.

About the Artist

Azure Arnot · Suny Geneseo

Azure Arnot is a maker and doer. Much of her printmaking is about the unseen meanings and creating beautiful pieces that can be both appreciated for their beauty as well as theirs second meaning. You can find her online at azurearnot.com or on Instagram at @azurearnot “Girl” first appeared in Gandy Dancer.

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