Sora Journal

Star

By Ari Tu.

The daytime astronomer 

goes to the cinema and watches movie stars at night. 

Little earthlings, you claim there are many kinds of stars in this world: Movie stars, rock stars, 

stars of stage and screen, 

the star of the novel, the star of the show… 

Oh, also, you add, the stars of the sky. 

What is a star, I ask you, not because I don’t know–I find your illusions amusing. A star is a centerpoint, you reply. 

A limitless expanse has no center, I whisper. 

A star shines out among all other things, draws attention, is superior, is the best, How can each of an infinity of individuals, all be the best? I question. 

A star has power, and influence, control over all others, uses its privilege and advantage, gravitation if you will, to manipulate all worlds– 

Has a thumb in every pudding 

A beam on every hill 

A star does not HAVE, I correct, it IS. It IS power, influence, advantage and force. It is gravitation. 

A star does not USE, it experiences. It does not manipulate, it affects. A star glitters. 

But not all that glitters is a star. 

… 

The daytime astronomer 

Studier of stars 

Attends a concert, and watches a rock star, 

at night. 

Getting in and out of his vehicle, 

He doesn’t look up 

at us 

He wants to forget the day,

The work he only does 

To keep the coins 

illuminating his dark pocket. 

You’re profiting from me, I tell him. But where is your gratitude? 

You are stars, he says. That’s who you are, what you do. It’s no inconvenience to you, you are doing me no favor by existing. 

His children, at home, 

have crept bravely, 

unbidden, 

from their beds, 

through the dark, 

to the window. 

Warm faces, 

hot hands, 

squeak against, 

cold glass, 

double-paned. 

They want their father to come home. 

And they look up to us for comfort. 

When they see us, they think of their father, 

so though we don’t perform the action of comforting 

We are comforting. 

It is something we have no choice in, something I resent 

Sometimes. 

We are comfort, without trying to be comforting, 

So they aren’t grateful. 

Twinkle, twinkle, little star, they sing, 

Breath throthing against the glass. 

Children, if you saw me you would die with fright, I chuckle. 

If you truly knew who we are, 

what it is to be a star… 

Your father should know better…. 

But I suppose not even he knows. 

He holds facts under his tongue, but does not swallow. 

Twinkle, twinkle, little star, they sing 

And I stare back at them with a still, vast gaze.

Children. 

We do not twinkle; we are fixed. 

Blazing, roaring, bloody monsters, 

Spherical wounds 

That will never heal. 

in the sky’s black-mamba scales 

We are holes made by the thrust of a million-taloned dragon, Lava blood 

Bubbling up 

Too hot to drip down the sky 

So we bleed out in waveforms: 

Our rays are stretching 

to fold you in 

Burn your skin. 

And, children, WE ARE NOT LITTLE. 

We are huge, hard and horrible, 

Round, yet rough and rocky, 

Unbearably, unendurably 

Spiky and spiny and spiteful. 

Imperfect and impenetrable. 

… 

Forbidden travelers, I guide you through the dark But I never consented to do so. 

To be used 

No, I am your guide without guiding 

My existence is guidance, 

Whether or not I wish it. 

I don’t want to help you, 

Don’t want to be enslaved 

By you, 

Don’t want to extend a gracious heart to you. 

But I am help. 

I am a fool in use 

I am a gracious heart extended. 

So you forget to thank me. 

Every time.

… 

Astrologist, we guide your mind, we guide your spirit, 

we give you every answer. 

But even our constellations 

and collections 

Are not consensual 

These familiar patterns we are arranged in, 

that you take for granted for being eternal, 

Can sometimes be difficult. 

I cannot enjoy the company 

Of all my neighbors and bedfellows 

We had no choice in the selection of our eternal companions We are not in the state of constellation, 

We have been constellated. 

So you forget to appreciate 

The hardship we must endure 

Living this way 

Until the night of implosion. 

Why do you forget your gratitude, 

when it comes to the beings that have sustained you 

Since the time when you were only 

a vision in the eyes of a carbon dioxide-producing bacteria? 

Why? Porquoi? Warum? 왜? どうして?... … … 

I’m trying to speak all your languages, 

So I can get an answer from… 

Somewhere 

… 

… 

… 

After a long silence, I finally understand, though I received no answer. You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone, and we will never go. 

In your short lifetimes, you can never glimpse the birth and death of a star, So we remain forever fixed, unchangeable, and timeless 

in your perception 

So we will forever bear the weight 

Of all the wishes you cast upon us 

Unthanked,

Resenting.