look how the stars shine for you

By Michelle Hou

i will pluck a star to give you
wear in your hair,
shine in your eyes,
lovers say

but do they remember the sky,
inked with twilight bruises,
bleeding fire,
how it yearns, its loneliness
as vast as universes
as old as time

without stars, pinpricks, diamonds

do they remember worshipping the stars,
Tzitzimimeh, skeletons devouring skeletal men
as the sun dies,
Asteria, titaness, a refuge
from the amours of gods
in the Aegean sea

tis the age of telescopes and spectrometers,
of realising you do not need to
pluck a star like a daisy
and weave it into a crown,
when you can trap them
in glass bulbs and filament lamps

the stars are not spirits of
saints and sinners,
they are burning cores of
hydrogen and helium

enslaved, their colours do not dim,
but brighten

we stop building their altars,
and stop telling their stories,
we do not look up
because it is easier to pretend
in artificial darkness
than the light of the universe in slumber

maybe one day, i will buy you a star
its gravity, its violent nucleosynthesis,
its light and heat, proof of my love
for you

Michelle Hou is a just-graduated student who loves reading, rainy days and collecting more pens than she can use.


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