The death of a star,
mutilated in space,
seethes from the ruins of its own fuel
It convulses into itself
laughing and shuddering,
as the heat clambers out its lungs.
When your palm meets the glass,
the warmth expands to your flesh,
and in this room of people, the heat collects
You watch as they watch you
when you’re off to the side,
and you watch when they don’t watch.
The star is igniting, in medias res,
with the crushing weight
of being uninteresting in an infinite space.
The health inspector walks. Checking boxes. Down the road.
Checking boxes. Checking boxes.
Down the road.
With silted teeth and thick fingers
In the restaurant’s salubrious lighting
Peeking between corners and over ledges
Under stools, behind bodies
Foraging for rot, the avaricious search,
the desire to find,
With his fingers prying, splayed against cabinets
Eyes cerulean, tainted with lightning streaks cutting red
Skin turning insipid from the hours of hunting
He was told he’d find only one thing foul
in this room.
About the Author:
Sruthi Kotlo is an 18-year-old freshman at Washington University in St. Louis and is studying Data Science and English. She is from the Chicago area and enjoys writing fiction, poetry, and other forms of storytelling.