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Star Furnace by Priya Sirohi

Every atom of this

was made in the

nuclear burn of

the first stars.

A handful of dried mushrooms


Leaves bent at every angle

a tree soaked in starlight

Bending, bending, bending, to the

will of its water

The earth tending to itself,

and us, and the whale calf being carried on its mother’s fin

Floating, floating, floating

In the heat of those early star furnaces

My atoms flow and burn into

each other, fusing

molecules, until I am

born, remade, grown into

planets. I have my own

axis, my own gravity,

companion stars, a comet encircled on

my head like a crown

Ground spices in soup

acid and fat

A green burst of something

finite, a leaving off,

a launch.

I can taste it, creation.

I can bring it into me.

Yes, and yes, and yes

It is all here, it is all

I need. You and you

and the turtle crossing the

road. Hill fog, dense with

traveling water molecules

spread through treetops.

They are here, the loved ones

Nothing is ever gone.

Nothing fought for is ever

lost. History will

register your discontent

as an odd-shaped

brick that changed the

warp and weft of the whole wall.

There is a tunnel here

that needs knowing.

Walk through. You will

find carved light,

pictographs of an ancient

hand. They left it here for you.

I receive and You receive.

Unfurl and unfold

into bloom spaces,

and scant spaces

until you are heat and

fury and sadness and

gratitude, again and again

Again and again

There and there and there

We are heat born,

sap suckled,

and in flight.

I rise, I rise, I rise


Priya is a cottage witch living with her cat and a hundred plants deep in the forests of upstate New York. Born in India but raised in Nebraska, she is aggressively Midwestern. She works as an Assistant Professor of Writing at Ithaca College as her day job. You can follow her on Insta @Priya_Sirohi and on Twitter @DrPriyaSirohi. Tip her at


Kalondoly - Rising Sun


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