Seeing Stars by Kieran Collier

When you were a kid, you bought a plastic telescope and set it up on your porch

looking for the Big Dipper and Orion’s Belt because

those were the only two constellations you’d ever heard of.

 

When you found new ones you named them yourself

like, that one is Kermit because one of the stars is kinda green

and that one looks like lightning so I’m gonna call it Pikachu and

I want to name the one over there Super. Awesome. Guy.

 

You live in a city now, and you barely remember

what night ever was without the reds and greens of street lights

and buildings obstructing your view,

 

but you do remember that it kind of looked like someone spilled salt

on Mom and Dad’s navy blue tablecloth next to the milk stain from last week.

 

Every time you go out on your porch you ask your dad to lift you up

on his shoulders so that you can get closer to the stars

because he is the tallest man on the face of the Earth, or at least you think he is,

so he picks you up like you’re Superman and for a second you can fly.

 

All of your other friends looked at the clouds instead,

finding shapes in the premade spaces

because clouds are made of water, just like you,

but your eyes have always been telescopes reaching as high as they can go

 

ever since the day that Dad told you all of our atoms are made

from exploded stars so our bodies must be constellations,

and that it is up to us to name them.

 

Everyone else found themselves in finite things like

the white lines and blue backdrops up above

but you are naming a new constellation and it is called The Sky

and every single shape is part of another different shape

and everything is connected and every star is welcome

and in the center is the most beautiful constellation of all time,

where every star aligns perfectly.

 

You named it Home, but it’s actually just a father

with his son on his shoulders, and the little boy is reaching his hand up

as high as it can go just like Adam’s on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

but that is only a ceiling and this boy can reach so much higher than that

 

and people used to worship the stars because they contained

the shapes of gods and if this isn’t holy then I don’t know what is.

 

But kid, maybe if you reach high enough

you can find out for yourself.

 

On his shoulders, you ask your dad about his favorite constellation.

He just looks up at you, a ball of burning curiosity, brighter than all of night,

and he smiles.

 

It’s you pal,

it’s always been you.

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3 thoughts on “Seeing Stars by Kieran Collier

  1. Reblogged this on Nostrovia! Poetry and commented:

    Boston youth poet Kieran Collier represented Emerson College at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational 2013, and featured in the Semi Finals Showcase with Bobby Crawford. His poetry is wonderful, and can be read in the August 2013 issue of Walking Is Still Honest

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