"Starchild" by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Newborn, diaper-clad, same as a child,
That’s how you’ll leave this world.
No you won’t die, just blast off.

Legs for rockets, bones separating like boosters.
Guitar: a lover, slanted in a hug, plucked,
Scratched, strummed. You will raise

One finger, on the one, for the one,
Then lift like a chorus of neck veins,
All six strings offering redemption.

The black hole at the center
Of the naked universe will respond
With a flash of light: comets, whistles,

Glowing noisemakers, bang, bang.
Roofs everywhere cracking, tearing,
Breaking like water.


—"Starchild" from The Maverick Room by Thomas Sayers Ellis. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Sayers Ellis. Reprinted from The Maverick Room with the permission of Graywolf Press.