“Glow-In-the-Dark Ceiling Stars” by Mercury-Marvin Sunderland

Glow-In-the-Dark Ceiling Stars

just the other day at target
they were selling those
ceiling stars

meant for children’s bedrooms.

& at first
i grabbed those stars
& put them in my basket.

my weary wrists
echoed pain
of what the doctor said
might be carpal tunnel

but i ignored the strain
for the basket was heavier
& the little boy named little girl

didn’t get
to have ceiling stars.

so tenderly
i held
switching from

which wrist hurt less

as i headed down to the electronics section
to grab myself
a new pair
of wireless earbuds.

rose gold
& under twenty dollars

only then do i decide
that three dollars
is too much

to spend right now

for glowing stars
will only attract more
sleep paralysis demons.

& now i ask myself
why i held so much fear

in a plastic half-globe
of glow-in-the-dark stars
with factory-printed paste

just mirroring
the window of the night sky
too polluted to see much

but there is the big dipper.

Mercury-Marvin Sunderland (he/him) is a transgender autistic gay man with Borderline Personality Disorder. He’s from Seattle and currently attends the Evergreen State College. He’s been published by University of Amsterdam’s Writer’s Block, UC Davis’ Open Ceilings, and UC Santa Barbara’s Spectrum. Find him at @RomanGodMercury on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.