An Economist's Guide to Stars
In a world without numbers,
train your eyes to discern light.
Watch the pulsing of colors, blue
& red and everything in between,
a standard bandwidth for
heartbeats. Get used to hoping
for supernovas and a glimpse of
time unzipped through past,
present, and future alike—
don’t forget to avert your gaze.
Red shifts are good days, contrary
to popular belief. To know that
there is always a horizon beyond
prediction, if one even exists, is
as safe as you can feel when you
imagine yourself outside of
your own body—to be part of
a whole. Rather, it’s about time
you realize that every wink of
light in the sky is a timeline,
every soul a star. Realize
that try as you may, to bend
the limits of your being,
we are all traveling models
of exponential decay.
Every year a slighter fraction,
every day moving faster in the
context of continuity, our
potential merely a promise
of what lies beyond the point
of blue shift recognition and
time marching towards us.
We revolve around a sun that
will never supernova because
its body is too small for bursting.
To live in a universe closing in
on you, the first thing you must
learn is to have equal compassion
for those that the universe
pushes to the breaking point
as well as those who cannot afford
to. In a world void of figuring,
the first rule is the only one.
About the Author
Stephanie Tom is a current student at Cornell University. She has previously been recognized by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the International Torrance Legacy Creativity Awards, and the International Save the Earth Poetry Contest. She is an alumna of the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, a 2019 winner of the Poets & Writers Amy Award, and the author of Travel Log at the End of the World (Ghost City Press, 2019). When she’s not writing, she dabbles in dance, martial arts, and graphic design.