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I Almost Ate the Sun

by Tyler Stercula
Illustration by David Petersen

Illustration by David Petersen

Illustration by David Petersen

I started with a marble, 
In it, a salamander’s eye.
Next was a tulip, 
And the bee that flew nearby.

Then came the days,
Each a different color:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Diffusing shades of arborea;
Thursday, Friday, Saturday,
Neon marmalades and bad ideas;
The last and first without its namesake,
A grayed-out waste filled with just my mistakes.

I did not with them eat their nights;
They hid behind my back.
So instead I turned to the seasons,
Certainly a bigger snack.
But before I clutched them in my claws,
They begged me listen to their reasons.

“We are spring,
We are summer,
We are they who already know.

“We are fall,
We are winter,
We are they who always know

“The summer court swings,
The winter court stings,
We are they who bring tomorrow.”

Then they danced their courtly dances
And sang their merry songs,
And I ate the seasons four, one by one.
Spring with a jump, 
Summer with a twist,

Fall with a dramatic “You will be missed,”
Winter came slowly, but it did not blink,
I wonder at its end, what it started to think.

Wonder turned to hunger, and hunger to the sky;
A marble is fine, a tulip, and a bee,
Not the days nor seasons could satisfy me.
I wanted something greater, something that hid itself from view.
I wanted to eat the sun, but all I knew of was the moon.

So I dragged the sunken valleys,
Combed the golden peaks,
Strolled through darkened alleys,
Paved over gardens of teak.

I found her in a pond, 
In a glen in a wood.
I found her in a pond, 
Crying as she would. 
She asked for forgiveness,
For the flowers and the trees,
For the days, and the seasons,
For the courts and their misdeeds.
She asked for forgiveness before pouring herself in.

I ate the ants, the birds, the trees, the leaves,
The wind, the rain, the sleet, the snow, 
I ate hurricanes and tornadoes, monsoons and volcanoes,
Islands and continents, plates of tectonics.
I drank lava, lapped up fearful rock, and more.
I bit down on iron and stopped it spinning--
A core no more.

I ate everything there was, is, or could be,
Except the one thing that mattered to me.
The sun hid behind the upright throne 
In my starry court; 
All that was left was my shadow,
Curiously connected to my feet.
I ate that too, then my toes, and my seat,
My legs and my torso, my arms, and my head.

I almost ate the sun, 
Instead of two marbles.
I almost ate the sun, 
Which hid at my back.
I almost ate the sun, 
But ended with a warble.
I almost ate the sun,
And made myself a snack.

Design by Kenzi Rayelle

Design by Kenzi Rayelle