Dorothy Chan
Triple Sonnet for Nomi Malone

            in the Center of the Universe



In Showgirls, Nomi Malone eats her fries

            and burger, all bright lights big Las Vegas

atop the Flamingo Hotel while the sun sets

            into the magentas and oranges of the resort

and the Strip of the '90s, before the showgirl

            becomes a femme of the past. How many

great love stories take place in Sin City or

            in those '50s sci-fi movies where would

the aliens park their saucer for a mid-day

            spritzer and Dirty Martini and lobster tail

or on Project Runway, Tim Gunn declares,

            “Welcome to the Center of the Universe”

to the designers, in the Garment District,

            which is why Godzilla invades New York


            so often. But where does this leave Vegas

in the food chain of Kaiju conquests, and side

            note: Ultraman was my mother’s favorite

character growing up, his name in Cantonese

            literally, “Egg superhero,” battling it out,

and goddess bless Nomi Malone for battling

            it out—for craving the lead in The Stardust’s

Goddess so much, she pushes Gina Gershon’s

            Cristal Connors down the fucking stairs.

Cheers to ambition. Or how Nomi’s name is

            pun: “Know me? I’m alone,” or “No, me?

I’m alone.” Or as the saying goes, It’s lonely

            at the top. At every airport, I am alone,

ordering the overpriced double bourbon,


remembering another cliché: a former friend

            once wrote a poem about how every man

at the airport wanted to sleep with her.

            Four summers ago, I met a lover, born

in the Year of the Cock at the Aria Hotel’s

            Lift Bar. He ended up calling every night,

though I wish—   At the turn of the Millennium,

            my father and I walked around the Forum Shoppes

of Caesar’s Palace—the painted sky—years

            before he said, “Please don’t end up alone.”

On New Year’s, wind gushing, I walk past

            The Flamingo—a time machine, like watching

a father taking a photo of his child at Caesar’s

            out front, posing next to—Winged Victory.






Found In Volume 53, No. 01
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Dorothy Chan
About the Author

Dorothy Chan (she/they) is the author of five poetry collections, including Return of the Chinese Femme (Deep Vellum, forthcoming April 2024), BABE (Diode Editions, 2021), Revenge of the Asian Woman (Diode Editions, 2019), Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (Spork Press, 2018), and the chapbook Chinatown Sonnets (New Delta Review, 2017).