“Galaxies” (A Poem)

“Galaxies”

She wonders if they see beyond her crooked teeth and neon rubber bands. 

Perchance. 

Today, they hurl chalk across the classroom. The pieces pop against the blackboard and drop to the floor, leaving behind white specks. Unnoticed specks. 

She digs her fingernail into an eraser. What would they say if a piece of chalk hit her instead of the blackboard, if she flinched, if she looked up and meet their plastic gazes? 

Galaxies, they would say. She has galaxies in her eyes. 

They would burn her at the stake like a witch. The rubber bands would sizzle and pop as the angry mob cried out against potential explosives in the universe. Burn ‘er up, pop pop pop! Keep galaxies where they belong! People with crooked teeth and mottled skin are not allowed to keep galaxies in their heads. 

Too dangerous, they would say.

She’ll read a story she wrote aloud in class, spewing stardust. She won’t mean to, but she’ll sneeze, and her rubber bands will pop. She’ll drop a solar system. They’ll stare.

You have something in your eye, they’ll say. The teacher will ask if she needs a nurse’s pass.

She’ll hesitate. Clear her throat into her sleeve. No, she’s fine, thank you, if she could sit down for a moment. Sorry. 

Would she want to finish her story? 

No, she’ll say. No, it’s okay. 

They throw chalk. Specks on the blackboard like stars. 

She bites a pink rubber band in half and wonders if she is a star. And do stars shine when no one is there to see them? 

Do galaxies?

Galaxies, they would scream. She has galaxies in her eyes. Burn ‘er up, pop sizzle! 

Her head spins. Her flesh melts. Her mind explodes, sprouting black holes of color inside millions of supernovas.

Copyright 2017 Lilly Hunt