I’d like to imagine my mother spiraling in space, a constellation of the galaxy Andromeda, blueshifted, moving against the force of time, that force which causes the expansion of the universe. I can see the both of us: knees deep in the Long Island Sound, our toes encased by the sand that grounds us while the gentle waves lap at our thighs, swaying us rightward, teasingly threatening to knock us over into the water, to look anywhere else from where we’re looking but we look anyway at the dazzling New York City skyline. I feel my eyes holding its distant light, her gaze parallel to mine, the weight of my awareness of such closeness in the shared direction of our vision. How lovely. Her words lightly puncture the enveloping darkness. How lovely the light, how lovely, if only there were a bridge from here to there. Glass, shattering glass: I turn, I stare at the bright, twinkling stars of reflected citylight falling from her glass eyes, if only. Glass, shards of glass project the image of my father into my eyes—he’s wearing flannel pajamas, sleeping in a separate bed; he’s firing up the molding machine, grease blackening his sleeves; he’s pulling into the driveway, a smile visible through the Jeep’s front window; he’s kissing her, her baby bump grazing his belly—I stare, stare as her eyes and my father continue to shatter simultaneously, the shards falling into the water below. I want to bend forward and scoop up the shards, to be a sculptor that will cement them together into those two sparkling orbs, but my body is stuck, fixed in space. She kneels and picks up the pieces, one by one, and I stare as her fingers bleed, reddened with small cuts, cementing them back together into prisms, and a beam of white light is thrown across the Sound, passing through the prisms, through her, producing a spectrum of red and orange and yellow and green and blue and purple that make up her hidden radiant energy, the aura of her presence ever since she surrendered herself to redshift, propelled forward into the future by the natural laws of time, refusing to resist any longer. I shout in space from my fixed position but she once told me that there is no sound in space, she cannot hear me, she moves forward without me, my father, too, expanding with the universe in the opposite direction, and I feel as though I am the sole thing bridging them together as my mother turns to wave goodbye, looking into my eyes to look at him.
Writer | Jackeline Fernandes ’25 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor | Rachel Hendrickson ’25 | email@example.com