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.