star(dust) by Paridhi Poddar

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa

they say that the stars are not ours to name 

                          because the Big Dipper was a wild bear hunting in milky rivers 

                     that there was an oxen, or maybe a coyote who shot an arrow trail 

           to the heavens, paving a starry path and left its friends behind in the sky 

            it still looks up with a telescope and howls in the hope that they hear 

                                 they say that Orion did not care for the wild and 

                                   so he was stung and  locked out of heaven 

                                       forever left to escape his venomous self 

                                    that we forget to take care of our own, our soil, our sky 

                            we are made of dust, bound to lose

                                                                 light like a lantern out of oil  

                                  before we shoot  down 

                                       like fireworks for the Gods to sit back and watch.

Paridhi Poddar (she/her) is an eighteen-year-old writer and student from Kolkata, India. Her work has previously appeared in Ayaskala, orangepeel, Zine for Her, Pop the Culture Pill, and elsewhere.

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