My Cousin Enters the 18th Century of her Rococo Apartment

Dorothy Chan

My uncle’s home is Hong Kong on Liberace’s acid:
rhinestones everywhere, clouds on the ceiling,
big plastic diamonds in cases,
a candelabra atop floral table with gold finish.

When my cousin enters the closet and turns on the lights,
we get Hollywood dazzling in our faces:
photos of my uncle’s ‘80s idol,
a soft Japanese beauty, her face like my mother’s,

a living Hisashi Eguchi illustration
come to life through glittering frames next to frame
stacked on frame. She’s in a ponytail,
a baggy sweater, a tennis polo,

even bridal couture against white backdrop:
her doe eyes, delicate lips from floor to ceiling
of the closet now lit as I eat corn on the cob and cheese bread
on the French blue couch, staring at the ceiling.

Cherubs gild my uncle’s bathroom:
gold swan handles for faucets, ready to fly off into paradise
as if you were lying in the fields, a shrubbery,
a cottage overlooking the 18th century,

how the cherubs of this century are found
in Las Vegas photo booths for $29.99,
you and your dad or your date
become Michelangelo’s pondering angels,

as tourists go crazy over David’s replica in the foyer,
and a woman points her selfie-stick
up his masterpiece penis
like it’s the top prize at the county fair.