The Language of the Stars

For Shveta Thakrar

Every century, at convocation,
The stars choose a poet to gift
The language of the heavens.

Words of shimmering crystal, burning cores –
Words dusted with new meaning –
Suddenly needed, hungered for.

But star-words cannot be gift wrapped,
Bound in creased paper, sealed with a bow.
They must be sought.

The stars choose a poet. And then
The poet must decide
Whether she will quest for them.

For it is no easy thing
To don shoes of glass and whispers,
To wear silver wings of rhyme.

She must sail upon a storied sky,
And fish for sparkling verse
One muse-minnow at a time.

She must work, fight, listen,
Must befriend the monsters who also speak
The language of the stars.

She will cry over words with meanings
For which there are no translations.
She will learn.

In her diamond nets, on shimmering lines,
She catches the words. Alone,
She will earn their trust.

And then, wrapped in constellations,
She will write and write,
Fingers sparking in starry rings.

How her words shine.

[Dr. Sara Cleto and Dr. Brittany Warman are award-winning folklorists, teachers, and writers. Together, they founded The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic, teaching creative souls how to re-enchant their lives through folklore and fairy tales. Their fiction and poetry can be found in Enchanted Living, Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine, Liminality, and others.]

[Shveta Thakrar is the author of Star Daughter.]

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