If you do end up travelling to find home,
try to take an album with you.
Play it from the beginning
and let the shuttle windows perform the tunes of a land
that your ears have lost. Forgive the aproned eyes
that follow you like paintings.
The first songs are the singer’s breadwinners. Their allegro. Their deliverance
into the public eye–their birthplace. You will be tempted to jump to these,
but they are only your first loves, the strangers we all fall for
and you are no acrobat. Wait your turn to be found; there are more
like them. Everyone came from somewhere, but only some are lucky
enough to marry their first songs, their hometowns,
to hold them and to be held by them each night, to see them without
the superstar bling, the opera masks, the trappings for tourists,
grubbing at the old dives and driving the kids through shortcuts. Only the luckiest
watch the same face on the pillow change morning by morning,
instead of by years, decades, casually, while scrolling, or over coffee
like the rest of us– Diaspora: something sent you into exile
and you leave tracks of yourself everywhere. Find them in the second song.
By Meimei Xu
Meimei Xu is a junior at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. She is a recipient of a 2018 National Gold Medal for Journalism from the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, and her nonfiction and poetry will move onto national judging this year. Her work has also been recognized by the Library of Congress. She currently works as a content writer for the Adroit Journal and has attended the 2018 Kenyon Review Young Writer’s Workshop.