One spring morning,
I watched a star fall out of the sky,
closer than it’d usually come, and
that very evening,
before it crawled back up to the night,
I developed a strange aching that
I couldn’t quite explain.
That summer, I took up astrology,
and began to cross check my future with the
movement of the stars, somehow believing that
they could heal me, despite the fact that
they’ve never seen me wholly.
Three years later, and I haven’t stopped
reading star charts or gazing into the night sky,
hoping for a glimpse of something ethereal,
or something that could cure the aching,
the aching which isn’t so much aching anymore
as it is a series of pulses.
Audrey has never really believed in astrology
and even though she watches me scan the skies,
she tells me to throw away my faith in it
because she’s tired of seeing me fracture
from the inside out over stars that will never
be there when I seek them. She says that
the best way to deal with the ache that
she senses in my chest is to confront it,
and to declare my own excommunication
before the stars tell me first.
Disclaimer: this is not a confession.
This is merely a letter of acknowledgement
as a last glimpse through a telescope,
the same way that you’re supposed to
avert your eyes from a direct supernova,
except my star is not dying,
it’s already dead.
I’ve forgotten that in all of its beauty,
a star’s light is simply a remnant,
a last reach, a gentle hand,
to leave a dash of their glow in remembrance
of memories that they’ve never shared,
will never share, with anyone.
How naïve of me to think that
I was ever going to be privy to any of them.
This poem was previously published with Vending Machine Press.
Stephanie Tom is a high school student living in New York. She writes and serves as an editor for both her school newspaper and literary magazine. She has previously won a Gold Key from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her poetry, and her work has either appeared in or is forthcoming in Dear Damsels, Hypertrophic Literary, and Rising Phoenix Review, among other places.