August 19, 2009

Jessica Ashah

Remember Cana

The memory
taking place on Canal Street;
shopping in Chinatown,
or is it SoHo?
begins with your quest
to truly understand people.

The Fakeness;
from handbags to jewelry
to Pashminas
to one hundred Carrie Bradshaw lookalikes
to thugs, foreigners, and Yankee caps.

The obsession
with a football star
begins when you sneak onto Metro North
then the Z train
back to Canal

after you turned fourteen
and ran into him.
I heart New York 'Ticky Tacky'—
breakable and cheap.
The relationship

With a cute, lonely boy
who you grew up with
is disarrayed
and ceases
because of dissent.

Grime and garbage,
key chains and fuzzy gloves,
love and regret,
earrings and earmuffs,
all on Canal.

Your lessons in ignorance
from your parents.
How unlovable they made you feel.
Jade figures of Buddha.
Counterfeit fragrances sold by an Indian

with blond streaks in his hair.
he grabs your hand
and strokes your palm with his finger
enticing you to buy.
Amongst the sweat of Canal,

of NYC, and a fake Rolex
you tried to find yourself
beginning with your mother
scolding you for staring.


Jessica Ashah was born and raised in Bridgeport, CT, one hour from Manhattan. She has been published in the Sequoya Review and currently lives in Chattanooga.

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