Reading: Week of 7/26/21

Reading and Questions for Reflection
for your own practice and discussion.

Dead Stars by Ada Limón -From The Carrying (Milkweed Editions, 2018) by Ada Limón. Copyright © 2018 by Ada Limón.

Out here, there’s a bowing even the trees are doing.

                 Winter’s icy hand at the back of all of us.

Black bark, slick yellow leaves, a kind of stillness that feels

so mute it’s almost in another year.

I am a hearth of spiders these days: a nest of trying.

We point out the stars that make Orion as we take out

       the trash, the rolling containers a song of suburban thunder.

It’s almost romantic as we adjust the waxy blue

       recycling bin until you say, Man, we should really learn

some new constellations.

And it’s true. We keep forgetting about Antlia, Centaurus,

       Draco, Lacerta, Hydra, Lyra, Lynx.

But mostly we’re forgetting we’re dead stars too, my mouth is full

       of dust and I wish to reclaim the rising—

to lean in the spotlight of streetlight with you, toward

       what’s larger within us, toward how we were born.

Look, we are not unspectacular things.

       We’ve come this far, survived this much. What

would happen if we decided to survive more? To love harder?

What if we stood up with our synapses and flesh and said, No.

     No, to the rising tides.

Stood for the many mute mouths of the sea, of the land?

What would happen if we used our bodies to bargain

for the safety of others, for earth,

                 if we declared a clean night, if we stopped being terrified,

if we launched our demands into the sky, made ourselves so big

people could point to us with the arrows they make in their minds,

rolling their trash bins out, after all of this is over?


  • When was the last time you looked for the constellations? Which did you see?
  • What do you think could happen if we used our bodies to bargain for the safety of others?


Photo of nighttime sky above lit up house

Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels