When I Was Bi(nary)
I contrasted nicely with unary,
ternary, quarternary, and so on.
In this way, I functioned hypothetically
and trouble-free as a pair of bosons,
which, we know, will happily occupy
one quantum state, unlike two fermions.
Explosive, I fissioned and coded. My
planetary bodies orbited themselves
like a bi-asteroid, a bi-star (blue/white),
bi-nomials, and two cute daughter cells
that grew up opposite each other
and occasionally met in the middle
like lips. Sometimes I was a multiplier
in a two-based number system, enjoying
the way my human fingers desired
nothing more than the gratifying
mathematics of acey-deucey, ac/
dc, options flowing, always showing
off—like a superheroine or a tree.
For fun, I smote the rap of wishy-washy
and plucked the euphoric luck of binary.
“When I Was Bi(nary)” was originally published in PANK.
Maureen Seaton is the author of CAPRICE (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015), co-written with Denise Duhamel, and her solo work has won two Lammys, the Audre Lorde Award, an NEA, and the Pushcart. She teaches at the University of Miami where she flows queerly along the continuum.