If Constellations Were Dust by Zac Furlough

An idyllic dark rose overhead 
like the one from the blankets that roofed 
the forts my sister and I constructed 
in our childhood 
                           living room. In our castles 
we were shielded from the household law 
of our mother, who was in turn 
quarantined by a quaint, white neighborhood where the paperboy 
refused to let his route conflict with Sunday school 
and where shotguns 
                                 were porch décor. Outside, 
flags were often seen at half-mast, though I never knew
exactly why. We weren’t told about gunshots in schools
or planes, buildings, smoke, suicide – acknowledgement
would induce change. 
                                  Tonight, in the city 
where I’ve spent days with pad and pen, molesting scripture, 
dragging nails across the proverbial chalkboard, 
the warm stars rain light over my neck and shoulders, 
not easily cast away by an extra coat or 
the soft touch of my wife. Even as I walk the streets 
bathed in neon glows and modern-blue headlights, 
my skin 
                           is the pale reflection of atrocity. 

Zac Furlough is a graduate student at Pacific University, studying for an MFA in Writing. He lives in Orlando, FL with his fiancé and teaches high school English.

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