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I haven’t self-harmed in ten weeks, and it reminds me that all I wanted for Christmas in fifth grade

by Kara Dunford


*Content warning: Mental health/mention of self-harm*


I haven’t self-harmed in ten weeks, and it reminds me that all I wanted for Christmas in

fifth grade was a telescope


The science unit that year: astronomy.

I fancied myself a space explorer,

discovering new galaxies lightyears away.


November came, and a chill set in.

Mr. Kelleher announced an upcoming meteor shower,

and this was it: my chance to be astonished.


We woke at two, stumbled onto the creaky back deck.

I rubbed sleep from my eyes, in hopes

of seeing a shooting star or two.


The meteors radiated from the lion,

his many bright stars and distinctive shape unmissable.

The monster killed by Heracles now a trophy in the sky.


I remember as I wrestle my own demons—

bare-handed, more often than not,

my dreams the hostages at stake—


what it was to look to the skies in wide-eyed wonder,

the whole universe and its constellation

of possibilities there before me.


Today I look to the same skies in

inquisitive awe. Will my hard-fought battle—

if it is indeed such a triumph—have a home among the stars?


Because out there on the back deck,

wrapped in the stillness of the early morning hours,

anything could happen.



 

I haven’t self-harmed in ten weeks, and it reminds me that all I wanted for Christmas in fifth grade by Kara Dunford was first published by Brave Voices

 

About the author:


Kara Dunford (she/her) is a writer and nonprofit communications professional living in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Brave Voices Magazine, Fahmidan Journal, and boats against the current. She serves as a Poetry Editor for Overtly Lit. Find her on Twitter @kara_dunford.

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