Author: Dorothy Chan

“Last night, I dreamt of an Outback Steakhouse
in Tokyo,” I said, your fingers gliding
up my back, cinching my waist in the blue
Lolita dress—“I’m the Alice to your
Mad Hatter,” and you gave me that let’s get
lost look from back home—when I realized
there’s certain silly things you can only
tell the boy you love. And the Tokyo
of our Dreams glimmered in our faces. Such
a somewhere only we know popping up
out of nowhere, and oh, oh, you mad boy,
how you made me breathless, gasping for air:
“What if I lose you in Shibuya?” Your
face inching into mine, whispering,

“But I like getting lost,” as our hands tied
together, laced in free fall—plummeting
down, one hundred and nine seconds passing
before landing: Shibuya lit up
at the crossroads, our center universe:
the Intersection of the World beckoning
us to call it home, through the orgies of crowds:
slaves to the land of Shibuya—Oh!
Sailor Scouts, cute cosplay1, visual kei2 coming
out to play with us…our fingers still laced—
was my heart now your home even in this
people orgy mess, or would my kokoro
just go bokoro? Ah this ménage à trois—
more than just a love affair with a city—

Sugar Daddy Shibuya declaring
his love for us through pixelated ads
of Tokyo toothpaste, smartphones, maid cafes
so that we’ll get spirited away into
youthful fights of mecha3 vs. slice of life
anime—Otakus with their round faces lit up
by the sight of pretty host club boys
plastered over the Shibuya screens,
their kokoros going bokoro, up
and down. Up and down animated hearts
coming to life. And as two twins matching
in pink Bo Peep: Dee and Dum, Dee and Dum
say “Eat This,” feeding me and you
green tea mochi…and bigger we go when

the whole world loves us, and my hand syncs with yours—
high, feeling like home as we walked up a corner—
“Look! An Outback Steakhouse! Ah! I Dreamt of that!”
I screamed, my cheeks lighting up, redder
than an angry Red Queen, and your eyes glued
continuously on my face. Maybe
Shibuya really couldn’t separate us.
And as the royal flags waved, pixelated
in the neon lights, and the crowds’ hands waved
in the air for the Royal Dog Hachikō4,
we ate the Western of Tokyo…when
I realized why you never said “Lost
in Love,” for what if our love got lost, deep
in the roads of Shibuya translation.

 

NOTES:
1. Costume play, popular in Japan where participants dress up as characters from anime, manga, and other fiction.
2. A music and fashion subculture that denotes an androgynous punk or metal influence.
3. Science fiction genre about robots and/or machines.
4. A loyal Akita dog whose statue graces the entrance of Shibuya.

 

Contributor Notes: Dorothy Chan is currently working towards her M.F.A in Creative Writing (poetry) at Arizona State University. She is the poetry editor of ASU’s national/international literary magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review. In 2012, she graduated from Cornell University, with a cum laude degree in English with a minor in History of Art. Chan’s work has been in Cha and The Writing Disorder. Her honors include a 2012 Pushcart Prize nomination for her poem “Ikebukuro Train Rides,m,” featured in The Writing Disorder, along with the 2011 Corson-Browning Award for Poetry (Cornell English Department) and the 2011 and 2012 Robert Chasen Memorial Prize (Cornell English Department).