First Lesson

A faded flower

does not signal the plants death

just retirement

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A Clockwork of Stars

Nuclear fusion fueled
by hydrogen found
inside human spit

carbon cycles through
sweet spruce and pulsating hearts
shining stars and suns

celestial graveyards
rich in nitrogen give birth
to fields of poppies

stellar explosions
produced the oxygen found
in a child’s nose bleed

salty sodium
marks the ticking solar time
piece high above us

magnesium is
maintaining immune systems
of neon fusion

jagged formations
of pearly phosphorus shine
in a toothy grin

rotten eggs protein
fibers synthesized inside
sulfur nebulae

swimming in chlorine
rich star clouds breaking down our
bodily tissues

water is kept in
balance by potassium
flaring starlight cells

calcium remains
from ancient suns and planets
lives on in our bones

this humanity
floating through space time listens
to chemical gears
waiting for clock
to strike at midnight

Names

<Redacted> came from your grandfather on your father’s side, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, who got it from an English man who had no business buying slaves

The doctors were Roses. The nurses were Roses. My best friend was Rose. She took me to the hospital where there were Roses everywhere. I was being surrounded by Roses.

<Redacted> came from your grandfather on your mother’s side, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, who got it from a Spanish man who had no business being in Manila

Theresa came from a Saint, came from your aunt, my youngest sister, came from the feminine version of your father, came from the wishes I had for you, came from the dreams I had for you