Sometimes I go into my brother’s room
to deliver a shirt, a letter, a borrowed book
and remember how the space looked when it was mine.

He’s painted the walls a dark shade my mother advised against
peeled every sticky star off the ceiling,
the ones I arranged into constellations, galaxies, shootings stars.

My current room wasn’t always mine but my parents’
I’d seek it out with tipping toes through the dark
to curl up next to my mother in bed after nightmares.

Now, on insomniatic nights I go to my sister’s room
to gaze at her glowing stars, a dazzling planetarium
I envied as a child and tried to imitate on my ceiling.

I wonder if they’ll still glow years and mortgages from now
if new residents will peel each star off the ceiling
and paint over every wall.

about the author
Deborah Rocheleau is a junior at Wright State University, where she studies English, minors in Chinese, and tells anyone who will listen about the great literary opportunities in Dayton. Her work has appeared in local venues such as Flights, Nexus, and The Dayton Daily News, as well as in national publications such as Tin House Open Bar. Visit her at