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To Wish Upon a Person

By Bethany Cutkomp -


I don’t care about impracticality. If the dying can request an alternative to burial or cremation, let me have a little fun. I’d rather not rot or burn. The idea of being planted as a tree sounds appealing but may be too mainstream when it’s my time to go.

Shoot me into orbit. Forget the logistics. Just strap a rocket to me and let me go.

If, by some miracle, my body stays preserved in one piece, it may become a celestial relic. A pointless satellite. A shooting star’s opponent.

On a clear night, perhaps my descendants will stretch out on the itchy grass with their hands pillowing their heads. Their glazed-over gazes, fatigued by constellations they’ve forgotten the names of, may adjust to a peculiar object hurtling over their heads. They’ll fumble for their telescopes, tracing the dark to pin down an aerial corpse limp and worn from poor conditions.

“Look!” they’ll shout, pointing. “There goes great grandma!”

“Quick—make a wish.”

I don’t want to hear your scientific rebuttal. If it is true that we consist of stardust, send me home and let my remains be a granter of dreams.


Bethany Cutkomp is an emerging writer from St. Louis, Missouri. One day, she hopes to publish YA novels and befriend the wild opossums that live under her porch. Her work appears in Worm Moon Archive and is set to appear in Split Rock Review, ballast, and Moot Point Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @bdcutkomp.

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