Back to Issue Forty-Seven

Portrait of Gemini



Summer; Mother sends me to Beijing to learn about love.

Instead I meet Lina, who insists there is no heaven.


painter’s hands stained in my mouth.

Our bodies so similar
it aches to touch her,

but my limbs bend harp-like
with the thrill of it.

I dream of this salvation,

the line of her hip in red silk,

and she tells me about “坏,”

one Chinese word

for both broken and evil.

Her tongue forks. I forget to listen.

Like all girls,
we value ourselves

in numbers.
I count pounds

and eat cherries

and think that I am .

August simmers away—
before leaving, I realize that

Lina and I,

like two celestial bodies


from the same green stem,

bruise flesh between a clatter of frames.
And yet,

the fire of a little god

spins to life

whenever she kisses me.

I do not tell her;

instead I say how lovely it would be

to spend an eternity on a favorite wall,


painted wetly

like a portrait.

Grace Wang is a senior at Harvard University. She is originally from Columbus, Indiana.

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