By Victoria Matsui


the person who threads my eyebrows tells me “my husband loves long hair, so i cut mine short.” we can’t stop laughing, she’s already bent over, i’m already lying down: two asian american women. for years, she has taken care of me, her labor physical and emotional. capitalism tries to dictate the terms of our relationship; we obey and struggle to be ourselves within it. i close my eyes, she looks close, she chooses which hairs to pluck. she shapes my expressions. we ask questions, we listen, we slowly reveal ourselves; the space between her face and mine is for trust. before i can romanticize it all, capitalism reminds me to show my gratitude with a big, crass tip. then we hug goodbye. “love and exploitation are not mutually exclusive” and strategies of resistance are everywhere.


Visual Art: Jess X. Chen, Thread (2014). Goauche on Paper, 8” x 10”