Friday, December 4, 2009

The Box of Star

When Fidelito should be sleeping, he instead pulls from under his
bed a flashlight and a blue box holding cards with names of
constellations. They glitter when held to light, pinholes poked
through cardboard to match the sky's geography. Fidelito, mouth
opened wide, holds the butt of the flashlight between his teeth.
Over the narrow beam, he projects Orion on the ceiling.

Above, the dust motes spiral in the light: Sirius, Arcturus, Capella.
He points at a bright blossom in the mica and tries to say its name.
The glow of streetlamps bleed into the galaxy of his room. And on
the pavement after rain, the headlights of a lone car fade in the
bright glint of quartz trapped in asphalt. The driver, looking out his
side window, sees three stars from Orion's belt lifting the boy's
ceiling to the sky.

-Oliver de la Paz