Starlight in You by Daniel Lind

We relax on my balcony as the night sky sings. Scars are inscribed on your parchment arms, caned by your father. I don’t want you to go home, so I offer shelter.

You shake your head. That will only make your burden heavier. Darkness consumes him each night, and you have to be there to temper it.

What about your mum? A row of stars twinkle in agreement.

She’s been missing for fifteen years.

You suddenly cry. I clean and bandage your brittle skin with a soft touch. The birthmark on your elbow looks like a melted strawberry.

I’m worried. We should report him.

You don’t see it that way. He’s raising three children on his own, and it’s a tough life in a poor neighbourhood. He struggles to reach the light.

The stars don’t accept that as an excuse for violence. Neither do I, and so I caress your frail fingers.

I explain how special you are, insisting you stay. But my words shatter on your delicate skin and spill into the void below. I fumble for the pieces, but they are lost among your tears.

We stay up all night to chattering starlight. The void underneath us chirps. When morning arrives and the stars mute, I reach out to grab the dying twinkles and place them in your eyes.

Why did you do that? A flicker of hope lights your tears.

Share them with your father; he must see the light too.

Daniel Lind is a Swedish teacher who lives with his family in London, UK. His passion for prose poetry and flash runs deep. He has contributed to two Steampunk fairy tale anthologies, available on Amazon.