I tense my body, and hold my breath, as if by doing so my skin would retreat a few inches. Tiny black holes forming within my ribcage, spiraled galaxy knots in my back, my heart and stomach shrinking, all to make more space on the outside of me. A sisyphean attempt to make space for chests, backs, arms, elbows, hands, hair, coats, handbags, briefcases, backpacks, umbrellas, packages, carriages, tablets, phones, devices. Wishing I could pull my ears into my head to make space for voices. Squeezing my eyes shut to make space for all the faces, as my lungs are invaded by eight million exhalations.
Maybe if I just fold and fold and fold into myself I will become two dimensional like the boot printed papers on the floor. Nothing remarkable will be done with the space I’ve left because there will always be another person to fill it, like spheres of lipids on the surface of water. I wonder how many people just fold out of existence in this place, without notice, blowing like papers in the wind.
And so I think of stars and how when stars die they expand; consuming all of the chests, backs, arms, elbows, hands, hair, coats, handbags, briefcases, backpacks, umbrellas, packages, carriages, tablets, phones, devices, voices, faces, exhalations, lipids, papers, planets, satellites, comets and the whole of everything. Expelling fiery emissions into the infinite universe in a devastating and glorious gasp of proof, that here, once, was life, was a star. Within me, and the black holes forming within my ribcage, and the spiraled galaxy knots in my back, and in my burning heart and my shrinking stomach, are the particles of stars which in a completely disorienting and unlikely series of events, traveled across the infinite universe and were a countless number of other things, but right now they are me, and I am the proof that here, once, is life, is a star.
So I expand.