Abuelo Looks At The Stars Without Glasses / Kyle Moreno / illustration by Owen Schumacher
A star is only a smudge
like a dead moth stuck to the window screen, but more
pedestrian—a flake of wing still clinging to the wire
after he leans forward to flick the insect off. Stars
have yet to sharpen hairs, startling
as nettles; have yet to grow hooks like ceiling fixtures.
He squints, calling them
the crusts on a damaged sky, skins thickened inward
scale-stiff and white—
the fingertipped buds on the lemon tree that prick out
the shadows and threaten to roll the moon off the night.
One night he sees two stars drop,
one chasing after the other,
both breaking off their gowns of light.
With no shell and no bone, he pictures
the body of the second
slowly flattening atop the first,
then igniting like a slug with salt.
There must have been a shriek.
There must have been a closer witness
come across a single sizzling mass.
Either he gave the lump a nudge
or he simply walked past the sound whose slight weight
did not leave a print worthy of notice.
featured in issue 2