The End of a Nation
On July 2, 2018, my flight took me to Marfa, Texas—not my usual migratory route. Nevertheless, during my brief stay, I was able to meet swallows and sparrows, and I observed other exceptional migratory wings from Mexico. Some small-winged children were captured and separated from their parents and placed in internment camps along the border of Texas, US and Mexico. Who will translate their wings? Whenever my ears would let me, I looked up at the night skies in order to track Planet Nine. Being the compulsive translator that I am, I traced and traced the planet’s orbitary routes, its rotations of capture, torture, and massacre. The universe is such a dizzying place that my ears were spinning out of control. Planet Nine! Come in, Planet Nine!
The language of capture, torture, and massacre is difficult to decipher. It’s practically a foreign language. What a nightmare! But as a foreigner myself, I am able to detect the slightest flicker of palpitations and pain. Difficult syntax! It may show up as faint dots and lines, but they’re often blood, snow, and even dandruff. How do I know? Foreigners know. Ahn-Kim calmly narrated as she continued to circle and circle Planet Nine with her pen. Her circles were extraordinary.
From DMZ Colony (Wave Books, 2020) by Don Mee Choi. Copyright © 2020 by Don Mee Choi. Used with permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Wave Books, wavepoetry.com.