I imagine what it must be like to be a shooting star- a molten amalgam screeching across a vast emptiness. My hide burns away with the sweat of a foreign element. My soil turns to glass. My body is a fraction of a memory but a reduced whole of a future. Beings from distant worlds gaze upon my brightness; wishing upon the flashing whisper of my hellfire.
I am untethered yet I am not free.
I land upon new soil as a sliver of my past. I am shiny; bearing enough weight to be coveted in the palm of one’s hand. As something picks me up, I can hear them saying “metal”.
Scars from my travels dress my surface- snake paths and fractures that connote logic. They call it “language”
I cannot remain other. I am given a name. They call me “coin”.
Do they know I have a smile? Do they know I can do more than sparkle? I’ve been given a mask, the face of a coin. The mask clings to me like an urchin to the ankles of seagrass. It can smell me; my scent, a trace of the living yet I am regarded without life. I’m inanimate yet my touch remembers flesh, my taste remembers salt and my heart, although weak, beats in this calcified alloy.
Some time passes and I’ve adjusted to this world. Nuisance to the scale of convenience, I fall through the stitches of an aged pant pocket. Relief hits as I roll away in the currents of the everyday- a mobility I had forgotten. I join the spontaneity of sewage. I embrace the sweetness of discarded chewing gum. I dance at the heels of others. At last!
After dark, a calm settles. My face- the mask- stares into the still of the night sky.
They used to call me a star.