Anna Keeler is a poet and fiction writer attending Rollins College. She is currently a columnist for The Odyssey Online, as well as the poetry editor for Brushing Literary Magazine. Her work has been published or is upcoming in Crab Fat Literary Magazine and Red Fez Literary Journal. She lives in Winter Park, FL.
Children of the Sky
Children of the Sky
My father was always tasting the sky;
Picking the stars from his teeth and
licking comet dust from the hairs of his beard.
He’d said that we’d been arranged from the same
cosmos that he hid under his tongue,
bits of his heart dispersed into each of our chests.
We weren’t his children, he’d boast,
nor were we of the stars;
but extensions of him,
the constellations he couldn’t align.
The oldest, a beauty,
had skin the color of clay
and eyes that gleam the way red wine tastes;
what made her as special, was her way of turning words
into gracious and wondrous verse
and deceived in the manner men did to their wives.
His second told the truth,
and nothing but the truth,
words on a page superseding the worth of the flesh.
In her world, facts were absolute
and the text couldn’t lie,
history living like a crucifix on the wall:
feared deeply, seldom understood.
The twins, from birth, were bound at the hip,
two sides of the same coin, each of differing value.
Travesty followed one like the wind,
As she flowed to the sounds of violins playing in her head.
Her other half,
The gentler side,
With the grace of laughter to a headstone,
Could bring the flowers back to life
And pull the laughter from their petals
with the turn of humor on her tongue.
More girls came before me,
But who could keep track
With the sky teasing dad’s pallet
As he begged it for more?
He surrendered himself for the good of the sky, until the day I was born.
The cosmos were stopped,
bowing at my first breath,
blinking in a light that only I could see..
Late nights when my mother was asleep,
my sisters bundled at her side,
I would sneak outside with my father,
and watch him as he tasted the sky.
He would hand me a piece of planet or moon
and looked the other way while I placed it on my tongue.
My mind wrapped around worlds of black matter
and my soul distilled between the vast galaxies.
A globe would then appear in my hand,
stars lining the colors of my eyes;
oceans would swim across my flesh
and a stick would wave my arms to the dark.
Light would flicker, flash and arch,
creating messages only I could understand.
I would wake surrounded by light,
the world I live in now far beneath me.
The stars, however, were just out of my grip,
hidden in galaxies I was unable to touch.
The cosmos I coveted
Now ran away in fear;
falling into my father’s palm then being swallowed whole --
what was at first an extension
was part of him once again.