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Shoot for the Stars

“Shoot for the stars,” they say

But I can’t aim for their hearts

and have them return

the favor by convincing

the galaxy to collide

with my wants, the way I view

myself cynically, is the following:


I am a one-woman clown show

with a humor broken as bread, and a questionable

assumption of a healing process that left

me crumpled on the sidewalk, all crumbs and crust.


Who am I, one girl without a tragic

backstory, valuing art and its timelessness

along with practicality and its urgency

for time I’m living the double life

because settling for one is settling

for none to ask my ceiling to jump

on New Year’s Day so when it grows taller and I,

more ambitious too, it’ll be another tragic turn

of events where I’ll scatter pieces of me

into everything, everywhere

and be left with those shards, returned

and met halfway

no pain will be enough to be

on hospital television everything in me is average.


Therefore, I won’t intrude the sky from its beauty rest,

then pull out a gun, press a few buttons, and maybe explode

a constellation, shatter a beam of light

into a million blinding pieces or whatever happens when one

has a hole no skin can cling to heck I’m not a scientist


“The sky is where you stop,” they say, so I balanced

on a tightrope, sixty feet into the air, as a six-feet tall circus

performer with a red nose, undeserving as seen

by the onlookers, disbelieving with their empty praise

and boxes of popcorn I would never be invited to eat with them.


Their words zipline through the horizon, spanning

from “congrats for shooting for the stars” or “the sky is the limit”

but in truth, they’ve been wanting me to stop, to fail, and fall

So I straightened my back and held

a book in my head, with no hands, supported by solely gravity

I am no scientist but I can learn to be the best balancer

this world has ever judged so cynically.

Once my feet, blistered from high heels, reach the end

of the tightrope, I can take these challenging shoes

off since I can reach my ceiling with ease both of them

both of my dreams and it feels like pointing a gun

to the sky, aiming hard, feeling the redness that comes

with being a fool, then with nobody watching

I pulled the trigger everybody’s eyes are suddenly

on my skin and though it doesn’t matter, I felt myself grow taller.



Cailey Tin is a poet, aspiring author, and interview editor.


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