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.