By Stephanie Tom
It's #tbt! Enjoy this great one from SWWIM Every Day's archives!
Say the universe didn’t begin with a bang but with a whisper. Say the stars were crystallized by their fear of being forgotten. Say there was life outside of our solar system; somewhere in a pocket of secrets is a planet no wider than we know the sea to be deep & there lives a child that only knows how to bury seeds but not how to water them. It believes in nature not nurture, & believes in the moon. Every night the sunset fades into silk & silence as it appears, pockmarked & partitioned into ruby red craters like a pomegranate. The child stretches onto dewy grass & reaches upwards. In his dreams he can cradle the moon in his palms & pick a jewel out of each crater. They melt on his tongue & he swallows the heart at each center. He laments the bitter aril that surrounds each one & wishes that they would not choke him every time. The stars don’t know how to tell him that the bitterness is born from the seeds that he buries, & that he is only tasting the fruits of his labor. A seed can only grow when it’s watered & a jewel can only bloom into sweet syrup when it’s rooted in remembrance. But he never learns. In his dreams, the child plucks the craters clean & loses himself in a solar system without stars.
Stephanie Tom is a student at Cornell University studying literature, communication, information science, media studies, and psychology. A Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the 2019 Poets & Writers Amy Award, her poetry has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Sine Theta Magazine, Hobart, and Honey Literary, among other places. Her debut chapbook, My Heart is a Mausoleum but Only Out of Necessity, is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press in 2022. When she’s not writing she dabbles in dance and graphic design. You can read more of her work at tomstephanie.weebly.com.
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