Born Under

My astrology broke.
As a Cancer,
I had learned to walk sideways
and pinch when approached.

On the day I came into the world,
the stars above self-arranged
into the shape of a crab with claws raised.

It was a bad crustacean to be born under.

My parents tried
to keep me out
of the public school,
what I would always be.

All the teachers and parents
had their own ideas
of what someone should be.

They were all so worried
that they gave me a fake name
that would make my real name less, so that I wouldn’t really be,
and avoid becoming the result of what they thought was bad behaviour,
which was all I ever wanted to be.

I get a fake name,
and I got a whole lot more.

I was told
that I shouldn’t
be out at night,
that all the bats
and all the stars
were out for me.

One night, in fact,
the whole night
I was out alone,
I could see the bats
hanging in the trees
and the stars
from the sky above me.

I could see their bat eyes,
their twinkling faces –
and it was almost like
they were looking back at me.

They were smiling at me,
like they knew
I was the last person
that they were going to see.

They were going
to come down
and beat me up
if I didn’t behave.

I was so scared
I was going to die.

After that,
I never went
out at night.
Do you know
what that feels like?

My parents
were happy to hear
about my broken astrology.

When my mother and father
said to me,
“We had to let you go
because you won’t fit in,”
I simply left.

I thought people
who were afraid of stars
should be afraid of me.

It is not a big deal to be celestial.
It doesn’t make you feel too bad.

Born Under