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illustration of white orbit lines on a black background, with a brushy blue bird flying out

“Binary Star System” © 2023 by lae astra


I’m no longer bound to you.
I’ve broken free from orbit,
escaped your gravitational pull
and pulled off my mask.
Turns out I can breathe just fine
when my feet touch soil.
It’s summer. Along the river
the air is filled with
the music of cicadas. Emerging
after years underground.
No longer bound to darkness.
The night, the trees, standing ready
to collect their songs and play
them back anew.
That cis-tem is now only a speck.
Barely visible, unlike the hair
sprouting all over my body.
I peel out of my binder,
molting the shell of it, and feel
life pumping into my wings
with every heartbeat.

lae astra is an artist and writer who calls Tokyo home. This is their first poetry acceptance from a speculative magazine. Co-founder of Far Future, an artist collective, they believe in tomorrow. Find them at
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