I have been thinking about my profession in academia, where I am not allowed to touch naked bodies, and I'm thinking about those industries that require touching naked bodies: backs, nails, feet. And then there are the other industries that require more mingling than just touching.
I came across this article with this quote that will likely haunt me all day: "To be an Asian woman working in the US South in the massage industry means being an object, not a subject; being neither Black nor White and thus seen to have honorary white status, which in practice conveys a false belief that you aren't subject to White supremacy; being invisible except when you have been killed by a white man who claims it's not his fault -- it's his addiction. It means further disappearing: being one of six women killed in what people aren't even calling a racially motivated crime, although can there be any doubt that it was misogyny and toxic masculinity that killed you?"
I had been thinking about these issues already. On Sunday, I listened to On Being, which featured an interview with Ocean Vuong, who talked about his Vietnamese mother grandmother and the war in Vietnam and nail salons. I thought about the photo of the young girl running burned and naked. I tried to write a poem on Sunday.
Today I returned to that poem and tried to write something else, but so far, I haven't developed anything that makes me happy. But I have trails and whisps that may coalesce into a poem. And even if they don't, they've helped me think about important issues in a way that many won't.