I killed a star last night. With my fist I threw
a rope, summoned a lasso and snatched
him from the sky.
I dragged him through salt
water and with him pierced
the four corners of the earth.
But he would not die.
So I cast him back into the sky. Into
a smaller star he did collide. “Excuse me!” Big Star
chimed. “I was thrust into you by another.”
Little Star paused, winked
an eye and replied, “Together we’ll light
new meaning to the sky.”
A bitter taste of envy came
to me. My rope tied tight, I dragged
Big Star back down to me.
“What do you see in that star that is not in me?
I see no eyes mirroring you, no lips reminding
you of how wondrous you are. She is
but a little star grasping hold of me. Because you are I.”
Big Star sighed. “If you are me, why am I not you?”
“You have not seen me,” I replied. “You
have not seen my longing.”
Big Star answered, “I see it
now but, still, I am not you.”
That is all Big Star said. His twinkle did not grow, nor
shrink, nor command my heart. In the night
he was only a portion of illumination.
I thought of throwing him back into the sky, far
away from me. But up above waited Little
Star looking down with a smirk of surety.
I dragged the star to a place I, myself
was afraid of. A place more fearful than the dried
depths of my heart and unfound dimensions of mind,
a place where pompous mouths and little brains
meet and flourish in dead smells and colors
as muted as smoke in the sky.
I pulled Big Star into a cypress
swamp and let the crocodiles snap at him.
I let the mosquitoes pierce him. Their needles
were bent by the rocks in him.
I let the purple gallinule laugh at him, their beauty
unrivaled in the wet forestlands.
But Big Star was brighter than them and only sighed.
The woodpeckers would not peck him. The snakes
would not wrap around him. The swamp was defeated.
I dragged Big Star into a tropical rainforest.
He merely sighed as we went layer by layer inside.
Like lemon meringue pie
each flavor melted into one taste.
The emergent trees only massaged Big Star, their smooth
trunks reminiscent of the blanket of night sky.
In the upper canopy he touched
a wealth of life and wondered why people
wish upon falling friends.
I dragged him past the fruit basket
into the lower canopy. He began
to fizzle with dampness and wheeze
He became a smaller piece of illumination, a formless
shadow in shade, not grand
or mighty—quite unfit for posing.
Weary from pulling, I gave a final tug.
Together we landed on the forest
floor where the termites, earthworms
and fungi claimed Big Star as their own.
And shallow roots of trees swallowed the star’s remainders.
And I felt free from the spell of the star for a moment.
©Margery Hannah 2006-2021. Follow the author here.