Cover Photo: photograph of a painting depicting a starry field in shades of yellow, green, and blue, above an abstract, large feathery pale blue body that could be ocean waves
Photograph and art by Jos van Wunnik/Flickr

Even When Looking Up, He Thinks He Is Above the Stars

The world was a changed thing / a variant of its former self, and you were / A new ripple in the miles-deep pool of time, / that one breath strumming the tender / Chords of the system.

Even When Looking Up, He Thinks He Is Above the Stars

On Tinder, a man scoffs at my decision to list my star sign in my profile, wondering how I could

Be so smart still believe that astrology and the stars

know I am going to block him

from my phone, but before I go

and say, it’s like this:

atmosphere, in that exact millisecond, nothing

a variant of its former self, and you were

that one breath strumming the tender

the stars took note and took your carbon print

-ing the detailed modules of your life, dotting

documenting your

into an official index

sticky sweet compulsions, of why

she will allow it, of the exact hue of Pendergrass’

inheritances, of where your pleasures

of what the world will come to know of you before

of how you will betray yourself, defying

a God you can see. Some bird species

some choose to survive. None of this

understanding irrelevant in the face of

so great we question the abundance of

at their tricks of entropy, our eyes gleaming

of a dead light.

Camonghne Felix is a poet, a writer, speaker, and political strategist. She holds an M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU and an MFA from Bard College, and has received Fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Poets House. Her first full-length collection of poems, Build Yourself a Boat, was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Poetry. Felix's next collection of poems, Dyscalculia, and collection of essays, Let the Poets Govern, are forthcoming from One World/Penguin Random House.