there’s a girl made of smoke who
leans against the front window of the
corner bakery and calls after me when
i pass by:
do you dream of the stars? she asks and
i say yes. yes, her name is mary. and what
i mean is this: i dream of mary sprawled
out next to me in the bed of my truck, her
hair like a river & it makes my heart stutter
and my breath catch but she doesn’t text me
back//what i mean is this: i dream of a girl
whose fingertips, like starlight, would blister,
though i will never get so close as to feel it
the smoke-girl scoffs without elaboration and
what she means is this: dream higher.
i would tell her that i can’t but she’d know it for
the lie it is. mary calls me when she has no one
else & i like sitting in her passenger seat while
she drives nowhere & astrophil wrote a hundred
sonnets about a star that burned out five centuries
ago so what reason do i have to dream higher than
this luminosity which is already unreachable?
kmp is a southern californian poet and an undergraduate student double majoring in comparative literature and anthropology and double minoring in gender and sexuality studies and archaeology. their work has previously been published in The Wall, Neon Anteater Renaissance, New Forum, Rising Phoenix Review, L’Éphémère Review: Issue IV, Disquietude, and Werkloos Mag: “In Limbo”, as well as on their blog https://ashandabstraction.tumblr.com/.