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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Kitzke

Looking Up

By Kelsey Kitzke

I think of constellations as metrics of human nihilism:

Our need to find patterns where there aren’t any,

To create stories in the sky we could just as easily tell on Earth,

To speak of dreams by way of counterfeiting connections.

You may look up at the night sky and think:

Formulations of our idiocy,

Burning balls of gas light-years away,

Millions of miles away,

And there certainly isn’t any reason,

Any hidden meaning,

To their clusters.

Human hubris:

The need to insert ourselves

In the accidental happenings of a universe

In which we are desperately trying to be the exception.

Stars explode,

The earth shifts

And we with it,

And our invisible lines can no longer be drawn like they used to.

We may look up on another night and think:

How we are a single stroke

In a brimming exhibition

Still being painted.

How these invisible lines

Are how we paint along

In the only way we know.

The meaning is in the collective strokes,

Looking together,

Seeing together,

Moving together.

We can all look up at the same sky and recognize the same pattern,

Hold the brush together,

And make a stroke that will last as long as we are here,

And that is as long as it needs to be.


What do you think it means that

When our guide points out the constellation Orion,

I can’t find it?

Illustration by Madi Hermann


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