by Ashely Adams
She appreciates you all standing in the cold to see her. She doesn’t mind if you couldn’t make it. She doesn’t really understand what being cold means, so she’ll take your word for it. She’s heard a few of you are afraid of staring into the night sky and the forced contemplation of eternity and vastness that comes with it. She thinks, perhaps, you should put yourself in her place, constantly staring at the sweep of earth, that it will help you come to peace with your own smallness. She says to be careful sharing telescopes and binoculars; you’ll get pink eye or MRSA. She is, admittedly, unversed in diseases, but knows humanity has a fondness for dripping all over everything. She knows that her light fills you with melancholy and thoughts of those who have passed away. She says to eat that extra slice of pizza. She would be happy to be your big gay wife. She likes all your poems because it’s the thought that counts. She wants to know if we still have mammoths or did we get rid of them? She thought mammoths were pretty cool. She wonders why you haven’t turned your scars into the shape of rabbits and toads like she’s done with her bruises. She assures you the moon landing is not fake. She wants you to know she tries her best to catch all the stones that might kill you. She has never been fond of meteors and their errant catastrophes, a compensation for their eons of lonesome orbits. She would like you to stop saying every lunar eclipse is the end of the world; this is not the end of anything, but a lucky moment where she and the sun and the earth and you fit into each other’s shadow.
Ashely Adams is a swamp-adjacent writer whose work has appeared in Paper Darts, Fourth River, Permafrost, Apex Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, and other places. She is the nonfiction editor of the literary journal Lammergeier.