Wall Street, 2012 (Stephanie Yue Duhem)

After Hannah Sullivan

Headline: Asian Women Outearn White Men
And you think again of summer on Wall Street.
Raddled twenty-somethings tanned from weekends

Up the LIRR, mouths corked hard
Before three monitors, older doppelgangers
At their shoulders—Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves.

You are one receptionist of four, a temp
Tapping a pen, chewing a pen cap, refreshing
Jezebel next to someone rapping under her breath.

Of course everyone has dreams. She, pale and
Bespectacled, wants to promote spectacles.
Her hometown in Alaska was not suitable.

The blonde plays tennis during lunch breaks,
Returning late. She cannot wait to marry
And stay lithe for life. Her name is Carrie.

Girl Number Four is Asian too but makes
One more dollar per hour than you. You forgive
Her because you are taller and will

Statistically outearn her. Oh that dog
Eat dog summer. Oh that bitch you are.
That summer you write jack shit. You push

The tallow from your thighs instead. You sweal
Like a candle, lurch through Central Park for hours
Each day on a Trader Joe’s salad. You tell Mom

You have enough to eat. After all, you work
On Wall Street. You say nothing of Trinity Church,
The gingerbread pews and skew-whiffed graves

You comb for answers. In 2012 and
Unclairvoyant, you do not call New York
Your spiritual home yet. You are not yourself.


Stephanie Yue Duhem is a 1.5 generation Chinese-American poet and educator, currently studying in the New Writers Project MFA at UT Austin. Her chapbook To Spell and to Name is forthcoming from Selcouth Station Press. She can be found online at www.sydpoetry.com


image: Peter Gutierrez