We found them between ads for discount flower pots and a story of in vitro success, and I’d ask my mom to read mine. Try to understand the shape of a lion’s mouth, the color of water running over the side of a pot. Forecasts, love, written in dusty tongues she so desperately wanted to sink pincers into. She would sometimes buy them from the grocery store, tiny scrolls in clear plastic cylinders. Hers on orange paper, mine—blue, opposites on the color wheel. I like to believe the solar system and I are intertwined, our cells made in the furnaces of stars, the fate of the sun determining mine. I count the ways in which the moon is at fault for so much, so many crumbling constellations of lies I tell myself. The stars are so heavy, ripe with what it is to be beast, to be bearer. I would look at my mom and think of all the starry things that we could never have. How the world is shaped elliptical and it keeps returning us back and back to the pages of the newspaper, the ink on our fingers, the seeds of something we could never map just right.
Randi Clemens is a poet, editor, and educator who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She holds an MFA from Northern Michigan University, where she previously served as the Managing Editor of Passages North and taught creative writing. Her work can be found online at Pidgeonholes, LandLocked, Lammergeier, Meow Meow Pow Pow, and Up North Lit and has been nominated for Best of the Net.