Shooting Star

Poetry by Alyssa Arns

Badminton shuttlecock on a wooden background with a moody environment

My neighbor’s laugh rips through the night like
An unexpectedly loud fart, so powerful I stop
Whacking my badminton birdie against the wall
To smell it. Nothing of course, but the scent of stars
And the bitterness of my beautiful birdie slowly
Beaten. A tiny clink while she asks her boyfriend, “Hey!
Did you see that? Something red like Mars and glowing! I
Saw it!” For a minute I do nothing but twirl the smooth feathers
Lit by four tiny bulbs and two circular batteries I don’t know
The names of. And then–she begins to mention every single thing
That has fallen this year; her favorite porcelain plate, a green lemon
From the tree too early, numbers on a receipt. I use my racket
To the tune of her speaking, until she declares–“And now! The sky–
Again!” I hear her boyfriend caressing her shoulder even though
The world is ending and they are drinking through it, through
Wonder and clinks and glass and gasps on the other side
Of the wall. I walk over to the brick separating us and holler, give her
A star she could hold. Looking at me, and then the maimed bird
In wonder: “Goddamn,” she said. “I never knew meteors could look
So fucking cool.”

Alyssa Arns is a writer from Phoenix whose work was most recently published by Rejection Letters. She believes in #insulin4all and tweets minimally (@chronicmaybe).

Photo by Salman Hossain Saif on Unsplash

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