Lessons of Stars


by Cheyenne Zaremba


  1. people die like stars

becoming unstable

collapsing slowly

and then

all at once

becoming a void.


people live like stars

glimmering beams of light

burning balls of hydrogen

illuminating the dark

for the lost traveler

for the awestruck stargazer.


  1. stars are simple,

they do one thing well:

they burn

and when they’re done burning

they collapse

sometimes taking their neighbors with them.

pulling that dark cloth into an endless spiral,

a deep abyss,

the creators of light become the destroyers,

selfishly consuming,

almost like humans.

but stars do not worry

about being bright enough.

stars don’t ask permission

to shine.

stars don’t care about whether they’re:

too skinny

too fat

too Hispanic

too black

too gay

too fem

too much.

stars are perfect just by existing.


iii. In the face of the black vastness

of oblivion,

the stars shine.

They are the only thing that deserve

to make me cry.

When I stand beneath the blanket

of the sky

and somehow feel that I

am meaningless

and yet that I

am meaningful,

because the stars remind me that I am.

Existence is enough;

permanence is pointless.

But on this night

I wonder if there will be one point less

of light

in the sky

and that’s what brings tears to my eyes

because I’d hate to have to say goodbye

to anyone,

to anything.


  1. There is a time to shine

and a time to die.

A star knows that,

and so it twinkles while it burns,

drawing invisible lines in the sky

connecting it to others.

It creates pictures,

it sparks stories,

it dwindles,

and it dies.

But in its absence

darkness gives way to light.

A new star emerges

no longer eclipsed.

It is only in darkness that it glows bright.

It is only with death that it is given life.


Now is your time to shine

and twinkle

and draw invisible lines to others:




Paint a picture,

create a story.

When your core burns out

fight if you must,

but realize your death makes way

for someone else.

Give up your existence.

Give up your importance.

Give up your insignificance.

Become darkness.

Become absence.

Become bliss.

Create the background for someone else.



Cheyenne Zaremba is a Master’s student at Villanova University, where she studies Communication.  When not studying, Cheyenne enjoys visiting cemeteries, cooking, doing crafts, and taking care of her 20+ plant children.  Her poetry and flash fiction have been previously published in Canvas Literary Journal, The Beacon, and Rundelania.