Roy Zhu | 朱若忆
The astronomer says
A binary orbit has no center in mass
Only an imaginary projection in space.
I think of my mother talking of yin and yang
and Junebug, who named herself after a woman in
a video game, talking of transformations in
the soul, male and female, shifting centers,
dancing around nothing at all.
I think about capital, and the fires of the factory,
communes and the tent-utopia borrowing structure
from the burned-out auto plant
so that it may rise, or dream of rising,
like smoke from burnt money dreams of being the absolution of debt
though it remains only the smoke of
a pyre, a cremation known
to my mother’s tongue as the taste of
my grandmother, her ascending spirit and bone,
searching for lost country.
I think of borders, how a line
drawn on the sand or shore is worn by nature, dispossessed
like a guest of reality, effaced—
how scars unhealed by nature are stolen to spin
our citadel’s skin, a myth, a mark on which a war’s hatred is borne,
a dagger edge on which the blood of the ones who have no blood to spare
is drawn. A line, and a wall uplifted
between the refugees and the refuge, the homeland
and the homeless.
I think back to Black and White.
The founding Myth of our nation, the building blocks
of the Dream, laid out two by two,
White on top Black below
a dichromatic masterpiece,
a nation with a heart laid in stone,
a never-ending ascendancy, eternal like smoke
ever searching for heaven.
I think about the ways definitions lean on each other, brace their vision
off the absence of another’s,
off the hatred of the other, so much
they can no longer support themselves, so much
they collide and fuse, in spite of each other, so much
they fall into the other, devoid of themselves,
becoming ghosts whose figure only the other can see,
trapped in the dancing dichotomy,
unmade from reality—
a justice uncoupled from truth,
a people ever longing
ever farther from home.
A milky galaxy, a soup of stars promised individual form,
blinding white light chasing out the remnants of darkness.
At its center,
a gaping, maddening,
expanding, ravenous, all-consuming,
utterly beautiful, di-chromatically invisible—
In the binary sight of this world, a hole.
A destroying rainbow.
Roy Zhu / 朱若忆 is a first-year from Braintree, Massachusetts studying Environmental Science and Creative Writing. They enjoy improv comedy, going outside, and wondering where the time went. They hope one day to teach poetry in a room filled with profound, beautiful monsters and useless things in every color.