Cassiopeia by Jessica Gregg

It’s common wisdom, a chestnut of chastity,

this belt and suspenders, this notion

that we lose a piece of our soul

to every partner whose body we caress—

no, no, they say, we give it away as though

it was a party favor, bits of soul like bits

of glitter or little sugared candies in pastel

balls of netting, flints of our self, falling

stars knocked out of place in the night sky

…but wait, I must interrupt to ask a burning

celestial question of soul and heart, of lovers

who have only seen starry nights (and days)

with each other if they too took pieces

of each other’s soul each time they sighed

in those arms, if this is what love is,

the wearing down and rendering into dust,

a dwindling of the cosmic, the supernova,

or if that’s Cassiopeia winking at us now,

at our Earthly silliness and the stellar strength

we draw in the breaths we take from each other.

Jessica Gregg is a Baltimore-based poet, former journalist, and proud rowhouse dweller. Her work has appeared in Broadkill Review, Delmarva Review, Global Poemic, Rise Up Review, and the Under Review, among other publications.

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