by Emma Zhang
Emma Zhang is a Chinese American writer from San Jose, California. Her work has been recognized by The Adroit Prizes, and appears or is forthcoming in Kissing Dynamite, Up North Lit, Evocations Review, and others. She reads for Aster Lit and The Adroit Journal.
mid autumn festival as nitrogen coolant
it's cold & the blue gray pipettes are gathering moonsong
smoking a lullaby like chang e on the moon before she realized she was lonely.
liquid nitrogen: a common coolant, but i just love it for its smoke.
in gas form, it doesn't taste like anything, chemicals lingering like apostrophes.
at night, we tear the same 8 inch paper into bite sized triangles
and watch them fly into the silent stream.
you tell me, soon there might be thunder
and so we make moon cakes for the little thoughts we have left
and call them forests. canopy: an arm to sleep under,
density: the compression of life into matter.
but dear Science, we've always wanted something to burn.
i say, tell me something—we are so lucky.
the same song plays in this cave like raindrops.
blue light on your tongue radioactive.
and when i lift snow, i see it. the ducks swimming again and again like soldiers,
fables told like spun silk. nitrogen pours its soft lungs like fountains.
and in the meadow, after the clearing,
we touch her just to see if she would sing.