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Astronomical Bodies

Astronomical Bodies

Mercedes Lucero

PapaerDarts_AstronomicalBodies.jpg

It starts somewhere inside the body touching tough tissues, sliding along expanding and contracting muscular structures. The strophe and the antistrophe. The wax and then the wane. When she leaves the apartment, her things will become the negatives of a photograph. A bowl left on the nightstand. Her sweater slung over the back of the dining room chair. The toothbrush she forgot to take before she left. You find these negatives encroaching, enclosing in cumulonimbus clouds. You wait for some silent juncture, wait for a time when these melancholy epistrophes no longer punctuate each moment, trying to listen to the soft cadence of your own heart beating. Instead, you hear what they are telling you: She’s going to regret this. You’re too good for her. It becomes a kind of hypoxia and you want to agree but instead you tell them that even your veins feel sad. Instead you tell them that it was never really about love but about being arrested in space, knowing nothing of home but knowing how to absorb skin and sadness. You begin to follow the rhythms of things falling apart inside you as if they were songs you have ignored for so long. You think, This is how a star must feel when it collapses, when it closes in on itself in delicate motions of gravity and compression. You remember that time when she told you we were all just made of light and particles of dead stars. You begin to search for her moons in the bed sheets. You wait for hours to see her galaxies coming through the kitchen faucet. Even now, you are licking her cosmic dust off the coffee table.


 

Mercedes Lucero is currently the Fiction Editor of Beecher's and pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Kansas. You can find more of her work at mercedeslucero.com.

Illustrated by Keara McGraw.

 
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