When you were a kid, you bought a plastic telescope and set it up on your porch
looking for the Big Dipper and Orion’s Belt because
those were the only two constellations you’d ever heard of.
When you found new ones you named them yourself
like, that one is Kermit because one of the stars is kinda green
and that one looks like lightning so I’m gonna call it Pikachu and
I want to name the one over there Super. Awesome. Guy.
You live in a city now, and you barely remember
what night ever was without the reds and greens of street lights
and buildings obstructing your view,
but you do remember that it kind of looked like someone spilled salt
on Mom and Dad’s navy blue tablecloth next to the milk stain from last week.
Every time you go out on your porch you ask your dad to lift you up
on his shoulders so that you can get closer to the stars
because he is the tallest man on the face of the Earth, or at least you think he is,
so he picks you up like you’re Superman and for a second you can fly.
All of your other friends looked at the clouds instead,
finding shapes in the premade spaces
because clouds are made of water, just like you,
but your eyes have always been telescopes reaching as high as they can go
ever since the day that Dad told you all of our atoms are made
from exploded stars so our bodies must be constellations,
and that it is up to us to name them.
Everyone else found themselves in finite things like
the white lines and blue backdrops up above
but you are naming a new constellation and it is called The Sky
and every single shape is part of another different shape
and everything is connected and every star is welcome
and in the center is the most beautiful constellation of all time,
where every star aligns perfectly.
You named it Home, but it’s actually just a father
with his son on his shoulders, and the little boy is reaching his hand up
as high as it can go just like Adam’s on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
but that is only a ceiling and this boy can reach so much higher than that
and people used to worship the stars because they contained
the shapes of gods and if this isn’t holy then I don’t know what is.
But kid, maybe if you reach high enough
you can find out for yourself.
On his shoulders, you ask your dad about his favorite constellation.
He just looks up at you, a ball of burning curiosity, brighter than all of night,
and he smiles.
It’s you pal,
it’s always been you.