chrysómallon déras

I.

Stars expand with age

& somehow that was reassurance.

Crisp Canopus reminded me

the sky hadn’t disappeared—

not this time.

 

Inside, with the lights

off, I pretended it was night

when Jason unhooked Orion's belt.

 

The constellations cried

down from the sky

for Jason—but he never stopped.

 

He rearranged asterisms

and aeons—stars dripping

down at his will.

 

Argo Navis became obsolete

 

& without his ship

Jason became faint like Pyxis.

 

I prayed to a god—

No. To a star.

 

Do their ears hear from lightyears away?

 

Jason said “they are dead”

and pushed me into the Milky Way.

 

II.

I can't remember the first time

he called me savage.

Was it the night

he tore into my skin

claiming every golden freckle?

—imperfections.

 

I gathered the fallen ephelides

& spat mouthfuls to the sky—

who was far too willing

to call anything a star.

 

They formed constellations

to pass the time in perfection:

Carina, Puppis, Vela—

assembling a ship,

waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

 

But my freckles didn't want to die

as stars, or cascade through the atmosphere

as rotten incandescence, landing

on some undeserving Argonaut. So they ran

from the night,

sailing to your skin,

fleecing you in gold.

 

No one could find you in Colchis.

Hidden in the Ares grove—

 

You weren't like Jason
 

you said. How savage of you

to lie.

 

III.

In the Stellar Nursery—

baby skin, molecular clouds,

free from freckles.

 

The collapsing begins—

walking, talking,

melanin clustering, gravity

pulling.

pulling.

pulling.

inward.

 

Packing my own suitcase, age three

first ephelis appears.

 

“The brightest and most prominent stars are named in asterisms and constellations. A familial grouping.”

 

The sun (a star)

not part of any family.

They knew he would burn them

if they got too close.

 

Packed bags.

 

“you haven't wanted anyone's help since that day. We're your family.”

 

My core a stellar remnant—

decay never shone so bright.

The collapsing continues,

 

“those with freckles should avoid unprotected exposure to sunlight.”

 

Overproduced melanin,

exploding into a supernova.

 

This is my savage end.