In A Parallel Universe, We Live In A Snow Globe

by | Dec 12, 2023 | Fiction, Issue Thirty-Six

In this snow globe the flakes are perfectly uniform. They drift onto the charcoal roof of the red-clad barn, its door an open wound. There aren’t any animals in the barn, just a hint that they may exist somewhere, are off in a pasture free ranging until old age. In this snow globe, no one worries whether the lambs are growing too big to sell their young meat.

In this snow globe, everything is sheltered by water and glycerin, swirled into a viscous fluid, protecting the hope of another life. Here, my mother and I hold ceramic hands. Hug, laugh. We are not broken like cheap dollar store toys. We sit inside a house with boards the color of chaffed wheat, eating roasted potatoes and peppers, a stuffed chicken, Portuguese sausage, my mother’s specialty grilled sardines. There’s no one here to ask where she got fresh sardines in this landlocked place, where there isn’t a hint of blue for miles and miles.

In this snow globe we laugh over coffee, my mother and I, about how she once tried to kill the chickens humanely by snapping their necks so they wouldn’t feel a thing. But we all feel, don’t we, when our breath is taken away?

In this snow globe the glass is so thick it’s smooth, so thick it can’t crack, so thick it feels indestructible even when picked up, held upside down and shaken hard to see whether this time it’ll finally shatter. Even then, when the snow is churning around us, we don’t move, my mother and I, we stay there together as if there isn’t a blizzard, as if we can still see each other, as if we are still holding ceramic hands and laughing about chickens and sardines, dreaming of pulling them fresh from the ocean in June one by one.

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