I have found a place to land. In this city in a part of our planet that I chose for myself, I was once again an immigrant, I am still now, but I have found my belonging here just as drops of 梅雨 find the blue petals of 紫陽花 year after year. There is a word for the new growth of leaves in early summer, 新緑. When I think that word, I see the glowing green of it exhaled into life from their branches. Pronounced the same way but with different kanji and different meaning is the word 神力. I don’t know if I believe in divine power or not, but I can picture small nature gods out there hard at work, swooping above the pale pink rivers of fallen sakura to conjure and breathe 新緑 into life. Your words have sent more green along the branches of my life. How mysterious and almost divine it feels to be capable of sending through words the understanding of emotions across space and time. The soft, gleaming reach of it. There were times I said over and over to no one from within past abodes: I want to go home. Now, I have found my place to land. For the fallen petals, for the transitioning green. Enough space to fully extend outward and into the light.
lae astra is an artist and writer who calls Tokyo home. Their work appears or is forthcoming in fifth wheel press, Strange Horizons, ANMLY, manywor(l)ds, and elsewhere. Co-founder of Far Future, an artist collective, they are currently befriending the neighborhood crows. Find them at laeastra.com/links.
Other stars in the Crescent asterism:
The Gentrification of Rocket Falls
Our houses didn't like this man either. We knew the signs of repulsion and fear, the way their siding shivered and shutters clanged shut.
Sometimes I feel like this, like my inside-body is going to pop out of my outside-body, because the inside is too sour to keep in.
The Sound of a Door Opening in the Forest
There was something calming about the totality of the fog, its constant movement appearing as unchanging stillness. It looked like the landscape of a dream.
The Unicorn in Captivity
Now the trumpets of battle blare; the castle is under siege. The young queen thinks: the unicorn is me; treasured, trapped but able to see beyond its flimsy cage.
At the school, kids would sometimes sneak looks inside each other's cavities, carefully cracking the little doors open just a sliver, not wanting the animals to escape before full gestation.