AN ODE TO STAR SOUP AND PAW PATROL By Bela Sánchez

AN ODE TO STAR SOUP AND PAW PATROL

tonight my boys are building themselves their own sky,
in the shape of rescue dogs and crime-fighting kindergartners.
or so they tell me.
“no more chicken nuggets!
only star soup!”
and we have to open a new can every time.

“if we eat enough stars, a new sky will grow in our bellies,”
and they say it so matter-of-factly,
i almost believe them.
not almost. i believe them.

they don’t know orion from draco,
but they also can’t read,
and they still need my help to blow their noses,
so we can’t hold it against them.
and who cares if their constellations aren’t hydrogen & helium?
star-shaped noodles floating about in lukewarm tomato soup,
might just be twice as good.
definitely twice as tasty.

my boys never give me enough time to heat their soup properly,
because they get too excited about opening & closing the microwave door,
or they get too excited about making shapes with their stars,
or they get too excited about a brand new episode of paw patrol.

evan likes to suck his thumb,
and shove his nose into my shirt,
so he usually slobbers all over me while he sleeps.

“if you try to kiss me after i go asleep,
the sharks will eat you.
and i’ll be sad when they eat you.”

nate always ends up across my entire lap,
holding my hand,
trying to tell me stories and falling asleep halfway through.

“last night i dreamed a brand new planet!”
and i didn’t know that they knew what planets were.
“oh yeah?” i ask. “what was there?”
“star soup. and a lots of dogs. and mommy & daddy.
and you.
we looked for monsters all day
and you never wanted to go home.
we were home together!”

By Bela Sánchez

Biography:

bela is a sixteen-year-old girl who feels passionately about tenderness and softening her edges. she attends a high school where talented and gifted students cheat on their homework and set things on fire, and has recently taught herself how to be a sunflower. she lives in dallas, texas with two dogs, a large family, and as many friends as she can dream up. she is always eating too much arroz con leche.

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