THE CITY I DIDN’T CHOOSE

Part Two

The stars are real out there. In the countryside, I mean. My hometown suburb knows no such thing, though it falsely believes it knows everything. I lived eighteen full years blindly believing I knew real stars (or real anything) until the moment I first gazed upward, spine against wet soil, and was proven wrong. I did not know legitimacy until that moment, as I entertained the delusion of my body rising to embrace them, scintillating orbs sinking to meet me halfway, cradling me close.

Stars humble you. Scratch that– real things humble you. Even the girl that, at one point, had fashioned herself to be a god of her own right. Back then I had no interest in love. Only worship. It’s funny, how years of hurt and anger can trick a heart into thinking it is holy.

The suburbs raised me on rage while the idea of running away to a new city burned a hole in my head with the exigent glow of an escape sign at the movies.

But I gave up the city for quiet moonlight painting my skin in the middle of an empty meadow an hour after midnight. For insect bites we couldn’t identify, tender bruises of unknown origin. I gave up the city because something else lives in another place– in the nothingness and wordless dark– something that could shift the innermost self, powerful enough to prove me wrong.

Was I alone in those hours of strange becoming?

In some ways, yes. In other ways, well, ask the stars. They were there. They saw.

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