When Stars Live in the Ceiling and the Sky

If America were a night sky
with a sidereal population

people of color would be
glow-in-the-dark stars

picked one-by-one
off a child’s bedroom ceiling

each death a supernova
that scorches paint and plaster

covered and concealed immediately
by white privilege.

Because when bullets are born
they are not named

yet America baptizes them
in innocent blood

#BlackLivesMatter swept away
like a glitter and glue Milky Way

as the sun rises over
constellations of lost accountability.

Sarena Tien is a queer Chinese American feminist who is currently a PhD candidate in French Literature at Cornell University. Once upon a time, she used to be so shy that two teachers once argued whether she was a “low talker” or “no talker,” but she’s since learned how to scream. Her poetry and prose have appeared in publications such as The Rumpus, Bustle, The Feminist Wire, Decoded Pride, and Sylvia.

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