The stars on the ground aren’t broken

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Kai Pilger

Despite the vastness of all the galaxies, for one swift moment, I was the center of something.

Bated breath and held hands created a sacrosanct circle as the moon looked down upon her children—happy and bright as the sun despite dwelling in the dark caverns of the night. Deliciously content, they were enough. 

To the children, it felt right to be them for the first time, and for the first time, it hadn’t felt wrong to be a part of an “us.” 

Whole and united, they sat in the place where it all began, drowning in a sea of memories, yet there was no fear filling their lungs. Sing-songy they spoke, and with a hum-dee-dum, they listened—listened for what felt like the last time. For what felt like the last time, the stars twinkled.

When you number the stars and think of someone, something, or some time, the stars become yours. 

And the stars are undoubtedly mine. 

The stars are mine, for each is named with a frozen memory; each star is a warm fondness, one I’ll never forget. The stars are mine because they taught me how to be whole, and they told me that I am a star. Though they are undoubtedly brighter, hotter, and hold more spectacles than I could ever imagine possessing, they assure me of my own flame and fire. 

The stars are mine, but before anything, I belong to the stars. I belong to the ebb and flow of humility and vulnerability. I belong to the sanctity of secret smiles, and I belong to the hoot and holler of humanity that I learned when I realized the beauty of standing instead of sitting. 

And the stars are undoubtedly mine. ”

By some stroke of fate, these stars’ orbits intertwined at just the perfect second to meet for however long they did. These stars became the fleeting constellation of an astronomer’s dreams. But, whether the audience of the astronomers sat astute or not, the stars shined, and they glowed, and they twinkled, and for the length of the night, all the miracles in the Milky Way were theirs. 

And it was whimsical. 

Despite the foreboding inky solemnity of the dark night sky, the stars were simply themselves—simply stars, star-like and star-esque. Despite the waning and waxing of the moon, the constellation was one. Despite the knowledge that the sun would rise on the morrow, the music of the mighty stars clamored on, cacophonous as it may have been. 

And when the night sky is empty, the moon is gone, and the morrow arrives, the stars will fall to the ground, but they will find each other again and again and again.

And again.