The Things About The Stars

Created by Tanmayi Jandhyala

When the rays of the sun are bottled

into dissipated dust for the evening,

and my stomach rumbles for light

and more light,

or for a tasteful imagination of it,

the hunger in me

is not prudent or rile.

It is gentle yet resisting

as the flapping wings of an elderly bat.

It is as eventful as said elderly bat flying into a full moon sky.

“Can you stop romanticising about black birds

and the cosmos

and hunger?”, you ask me.

How cute of you to think that I am in control

of my metaphors, of my scars, of my heart.

When I go on long walks,

I do not simply come back-

I arrive in tussles and curls of flowers

with twigs in my hair

and the fibres of my sweater.

I go into the open fields or

Walk a little past the banks of the Lake,

and yet,

I am hardly in the open.

I feel closeted –

And not just in the Whomping Willow.

When I am surrounded by these walls,

I tell the invisible beings voicing at me.

I tell them I am a monster and not even they believe me.

“Does he really not believe that too?”, I ask into the air above me.

I can see those words leave my mouth in pale blue

And mix with a suspiciously clear monsoon sky.

I then see clouds

Forming as they collect enough anticipation

Until they give in.

I see puffs of clouds above me like smoke from chimneys

That feeds back into, once again, my very empty lungs.

Night falls, as it does not fail to carry its duty

To make me cry once again.

And then can I finally see the stars.

The magical observatory in that ridiculously tall astronomy tower

Is useless because they can help dreamy children draw charts of

This universe, but they cannot carry them to the the stars.

Or the moon-

As much as I am terrified of it,

I wonder if in celestial hindsight it is just a giant monarch

Watching me dance till I bled

Every time he ate a full meal.

But, I have learnt to ignore him on other days.

I assume a worm bigger than the giant eats a chunk of it every fifteen days

and the alternative fifteen, he spends his time barfing his food out.

I’m sorry to write about barf in a supposed love poem.

Love? the stars.

My inhibitions form walls around me

But I just need to look up,

And they present themselves before me-

Before a monthly feral.

Sometimes, I am not ready for their kindness.

And I could be sitting to a corner with my knees folded,

my head bent over.

But the stars, they are compassionate.

They generously reflect upon the floor

under my feet, for me to still see them.

And suddenly, they are my chariot.

My soft carpet that keeps my feet warm.

They all wish they could capture the stars.

But that is the thing about them.

They don’t need to be captured,

They will show up again tomorrow.

Sirius always shows up again tomorrow.

His stupid and gorgeous hair flouncing all over his brown forehead.

His presence,

The soft moonlight reflecting off of the lake

That does not traumatise me.

He is the ink that a hungry, disheveled artist

Purchases minutes before they finished their masterpiece.

He is the gentle blow of breeze that

tickles an overturned bug back on its legs.

His jokes are so idiotic,

Like a crow with a hat on.

And when I don’t laugh,

He does.

And I am tossing the hat right off of that crow

and eating the bird up raw.

It does not make sense,

It never did,

just like the unfair deal between

night and day where they agreed to

Heal for half the day and then again torture into silence the other half.

It does not make sense

expect when I see a wet black dog

panting towards my cage,

right before I blacked out.

It does not make sense that the stars are just out there,

Existing genderlessly while everyone in the world

writes poems about them,

is not afraid to admire them, study them,

and be utterly in love with them.

Yet, here I have,

All the stars bundled into handsome skin and terrible jokes,

Lulling beside me in a silly leather jacket for all of the day

And most of the night,

And I have never been so terrified.

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