In second grade,
I learned that every person was once swirling matter
in the belly of a star
and that horrified me,
because at night my father would take me on walks
and I would crane my head up and look at the stars
over the field by our flat.
“There are two stars here,” and point,
crush my cheek to his so I could see.
I hurt my neck by straining it for hours
so I could pick apart two flames
burning years and years
into the darkness.
So everyone comes from
these hot stomachs,
but I didn’t want to believe
that the boy who tore up butterflies and stuck his scale-covered fingers in his nose
was made of the same things that the sun was,
and I did not want to believe
that there was no light on either end
but for the brightness
far away,
past the glow of Dad’s smile.
Loneliness still scares me: I think I am happier
as the dying remnant of some starry bile
than I would be as Sirius, as Betelgeuse,
as Alpha Centauri.