The other half of me lives across the world.
The roots of mama and baba, agong and apo, cling to the rocks of a red clay soil,
While their meristems were supplanted, relegated to the cool nectar of
As I dig my forehead into the frost-bitten plane window,
I imagine lines convalescing upon the clouds.
A languorous celestial line of
brown knap-sack peasants clamoring for the sun.
Of dreaming academics, imperially slim.
Of my own family, steps lined with gold, struggling against weighty dreams.
All tripping over calloused feet to drink a sweeter water.
Their eyes fixated on edges, the reprieve comes only
to mindlessly sip some bitter herb tea.
So earnest, so keen, thoughts so clean upon arriving,
they forget —
water flows in only to flow out.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julia Zhou is a rising senior at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia. This is her first published poem.