“The Life of a Star” By: Sean Pravica

Saturnine light rings the porch in a gloom. Asteroids touch down into Venusian lakes. The shores lay scorching, a planet of thoughts unsaid. The unborn future that once looked like it could spin forever, a diamond for our covetous eyes to behold a thousand faces at once, nirvana – now gone.

The rain has passed and we are the walking dead. Resurrected by obligation, preserved by familiarity, patterns engage.

The mist, like our eye contact, breaks. We reassemble under the clearing sky. Star gazing over wine the past is bright, visible. But supernovas don’t reverse their blooming, and the dust storm is nigh.

Into the longest hour there is a songbird singing in the aftermath of fallen stars. Our eyes become fertile again: a smile grows. More than a twinkle, teeth reveal something like the other year, the good months, the better half.

Stars smile while they die, a brighter path to oblivion than the loathsome swallow of black holes. An obsidian, or a ruby. A pair of deaths. One complete, immediate, final. The other long, slow, shimmering.

No control over the inner momentum. Heavy bodies fall against each other, dead but making this one of the good nights, and the air blowing through the open window cool on skin. Goosebumps. Like a desert coming alive, dots of flowers springing up in the Goldilocks months.

Anvils in heat, we hammer, shoot sparks. A stellar swan song, a last wish on a shooting star. We realize in the smallness of the wish which comes true, so trained into containment, that we forgot the sky is larger than we can see.

Together for a night, alone in a day. A sunrise later and an earthquake shakes our orbit a millimeter off its axis. Stalled speech, dissolved tomorrows. The rain returns, the stars obscure, and the joke that fertilized our laughter has been confiscated by a memory erased. How quickly things change. Or rather, how quickly things return to normal.

Stars die fiercely, brilliantly. But the light eventually comes to soften, the pull to slacken, and the nebulous stirrings of tomorrow gather themselves for a new emergence elsewhere. And it is only in looking back that we see the life of a star.

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