Emma A.


It’s difficult not to stargaze in space - 
When her eyes blink open and eclipse the vast celestial bodies surrounding her,
Her iris-suns wide, you brace
For how they scorch you
And the sensation is the closest thing to infinity your brain can conceptualize.

When she breathes her comet ribs and cosmic dust lungs expand and contract,
Newborn stars wail and explode with the blessings of new life and
Supernovas collide and abstract
With her, the universe is ever changing but it’s easy to forget until you close your eyes and
Realize that sound doesn’t travel in the vacuum of space

That basking in her interdimensional righteousness doesn’t feel the same as it used to
-454.81 degrees Fahrenheit and you wonder how you shrugged off the chill
That slips down your spine and aches bone-deep, but you make do.
Goddess divine, you would know her by no other name
But your tongue has forgotten how to parse it.

You’re the one thing her sacrilegious fingers have yet to scrape.
Icarus, your feather and wax wings are melting, the magic has strayed
But she’s all you’ve ever known, she claims your very being was reshaped
Born of her blood, sweat, and tears
That glance down your starlight shoulders and puddle in the Milky Way.

Away from the things you’ve come to call your own, and down and over the asteroid belts,
Loopty-loop through Uranus’ rings and out into the wide unknown.
She opened your eyes at a high price.
There’s nothing left over for those who worship a god that makes mistakes.

No matter how the comets smolder in the chiaroscuro of night and
The planets waltz and mingle among themselves,
The constellations will continue to pinhole the sky,
And like a star, we will continue to admire your light, not knowing you burned out long ago.

And as she whirls, like the galaxies composing her, you were swept up in her retrograde,
For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return
Mother told you to never look into the sun, no matter how gorgeous her beams.
Her face you once described as loving is a mask for the black hole that lives behind it,
The life she made for you in her universe of cards is flimsy,
Your hollow chest aches but she never stole your heart, only convinced you she had.

Her once loving disposition evaporates from her moon-shaped face and she angers,
What have you done? She, the savior saved you from yourself.
She’s devastating yet expected, and you close your eyes on what you once knew, and open them into another plane of existence, and
For better or for worse, you’ve chosen your own path to enlightenment, free from the influence of false gods and cataclysmic lovers.

Artist’s Statement:

            Being in love is different than love itself. When we’re in love we’re chaotic, heated, and emotionally-driven, fuelled by passion rather than trust. When we’re 17 and in love, it feels as if our whole world orbits around that person, that our very existence is caused by the rising and falling of their breath. Inevitably, of course, it doesn’t last, and our sense of self and belonging that depended on someone else are radically changed by the loss of that person. Teenage love and obsession are a vehicle for entropy, and teach us one of the most difficult lessons to learn; in order to be at peace, we must find it in ourselves and not within others.

Jason Carney