Stars do not exist where I live

Yet, I have always wanted to

See them.

Every night

I would look out into the sky

And wish to wish upon a star.

Kids from where I’m from

Wish the same.

They wish that they can

Wish upon a star,

To escape where they are from,

To escape polluted surroundings.,

Formerly fresh air,

Currently clogged with greenhouse gases.

Streets filled with trash and wastes

They wish to live healthier lives.

They wish to afford and consume healthier foods,

They wish to decrease their risk for heart disease,

Diabetes, cancer

They wish to see these stars that are purposely hidden.

Hidden by big companies,

Companies that do not give

A damn about

People of color

People of low socioeconomic statuses

People whose childhood memories

Only exist in the areas

That they are eager to control.


A leading chemical element

In the air I breathe

in the water I drink.,


present in high levels

In the blood running through my veins,

Increasing the chances of

My children becoming autistic

Which is an extreme worry of mine

Since it is already common

On my father’s side

Children in places like Flint, Michigan

Can only wish to wish upon an unseen star

To have a country

That cares for them,

and for their health.


Because of the color of their skin,

And definitely not the “content of their character”

they are facing daily health disparities.

Due to the environment they are forced to live in

Due to a country that redlines

To cater to white privilege

And minority demise.

Dismissing the

Heavy stenches

That fill the air in predominantly minority communities.

Dismissing their

Calls for help

And using ethnic slurs to shut them up.

perpetuating their ‘voicelessness’

And subjugation.

No one ever thinks of the environment as a medium

To further racism

But it is…

I know that for a fact

‘Cuz’ going from a place of no stars

To a place with many

Showed me only the privileged

Can make such wishes

Only they can wish for free choice,

Only they can wish to live in a clean environment.


Only recently have I become one of the privileged at Duke

I can now wish on a star,

I can now make a choice.


Who could have imagined that the unveiling of stars

Would determine the futures of those living under them

Camara Wooten