by You Have My Word
I used to think my body was a minefield for dead and dying things, that my skin could only push up black war heads promising to blow me to smithereens, that I had an oil leak determined to sludge over what I dared to call a body until…
Until the night she said: these marks on your back look like constellations.
That was the most delicate and daunting thing anyone had ever said to me, and for the next few days I felt like I lived in a city of fireflies glowing only long enough for both of us to make a home for our dreams. A city of fireflies hovering low enough for us to hear the whisper of their wings saying: “If ever you leave this place and if you ever want to return, simply brush away dust from the cracks in her palms for you are cemented into the movement of her touch – you are locked to her fingerprint, Love.”
When we woke the next day, I didn’t know if I got to keep my old name or if I’d now be called Aries or Orion or Sagittarius or Hercules – a hero of another kind – my star signs dictating the course of someone else’s life. And whenever she looked at me – her own eyes burning bright – I know she believed I could outshine the sun. That the patterns of my back would take away the label “no one”.
And whenever I started to fall, she would wish on me so hard, catch failing sparks like dying fireflies in her palms, throw our dreams back at the stars with all my warheads and oil leaks and scars saying: “Don’t let them blow you out like birthday candles. You are a firework display at the start of every new year. You are every flare shot up to the sky. You are the promise held in a million Chinese lanterns set to change the outline of time. And you are mine.”