1. I could have kissed the stars. All the sky had to do was bend its knee and galaxies would be at the level of my lips. I was at the edge of adulthood. I could ask anyone to do anything. // 2. After months of asking and disbelief, my mother takes me to the eye doctor. I am twelve. The old man clicks through lenses, cold metal at the level of my eyes. He asks me, better or worse? // 3. I didn’t know why they were called stars until those first lenses. Until I looked up, saw them there, push-pinned, five-pointed brilliance. // 4. In New York, light pollution is tangible; it leaves a film across my fingertips. It blurs the sky the same way cataracts blurred my grandfather’s eyes. All I see in the night are headlights and neon signs; earthbound suns and nebulae. I am horribly grounded. I ask nothing of anyone. // 5. I used to hold helium in my lungs. I could float above the ink-dark world, the lonely campus, the Amish men on bikes, all those fields. Lift myself to the level of the night, run my fingers through it like long grass, if only I wanted, if only I tried. Instead, I asked the sky to move, to bring its face close to mine, to breathe in stardust kisses.
Christina Harrington lives in Astoria with her boyfriend, their dog, Rocket, and too many comic books. You can find more of her work in The Boiler Journal, Molotov Cocktail, OSU’s The Journal, Roanoke Review, Glassworks Magazine and others.