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placeholder - gabriella hoskins


This is for you, the galaxy. I wonder if you know what really happens around here.


A. My father is a man who enjoys the small wonders of the night and gesturing wildly at the stars. “Can you see it? Last night they were going that way but tonight they’ve all shifted this way.”I’m stuck in my own head again. I don’t remember how to pay attention. “Yeah, sure,”I hum, already plotting my escape.


B. The world is busy and vile. I wait with the patience of the seasons for the exhausting sun to disappear. When the sky becomes lightless and hazy, I go outside and lay face down in the overgrown grass. I want this. I need this: to feel itchy and alive. I read somewhere that a blue whale’s arteries are so wide that an adult human can swim through them. Now, I feel like that person, swimming, with no direction at all, through the infinitely wide blood vessels of a cosmic whale.


C. [When you look up and see all those gleaming stars, do you still believe that the universe is a simulation? Or is it possible, plausible that god had a hand in this? Maybe he purposely redirected the chaos of Christmas decorating and sent all the blinking ornaments far away. Maybe he doesn’t really like his birthday. Maybe we’re all fools for staring up at the tips of flimsy tinsel and swooning.]


D. It’s in times like these when I wish I had listened to my father when he spoke about the stars. I wish I could point out some intricate pattern up there and put a name to it, say something, anything to fill the space and silence wedged between us. I’m bad at hearing but I swear your heart beat still sounds the same. And that must mean something, right?

--

RISK MANAGEMENT

Let’s avoid the car crash collision. Let’s spare the deer in the headlights. Let’s stop before we skid and scream across the icy highway and turn into something dead and dented. [I don’t even want to think about all the paperwork and the calls from the insurance company.] Instead, let’s abandon this car and wander into the hordes of trees by the side of the road. Let’s morph into ancient sycamores, our branches stretched out so high and wide that even if you squinted up into the misty blue, you wouldn’t be able to tell if we ended in the clouds or extended past the heavens. Our roots will intertwine tentatively under the mossy forest floor, forever, and our hearts will turn to bark before we have the chance to break them.


--

In the darkness I met my disabled creators, blinded by red sea stories and cataracts. We spoke about love and hate and treacherous mistakes. They split a hard apple three ways: the disorderly father, the delinquent son and the weary spirit.

[I didn’t want a piece. I’d had breakfast.] “Where do we all end up?” I pressed. “In the luminous blushing moon.” “With the stray hummingbirds.” “At the bottom of a muddy cesspool of field grass.”


--

See, their god’s a misfit; a band aid; a real role model. He’s currently floating in outer space like a satellite in a really cool suit with creases and seals and bubble wrap. Maybe he’ll do something heroic and untether himself from his tin foil spaceship to wander off, in search of a place for all the other misfits. But until he returns, they’ll remain a prisoner of gravity, directing a magnitude of sighs towards a world that doesn’t accommodate them.


--


[2:56am. It’s that time of night where you start thinking about selling your organs on the black market for some tropical yoghurt. Your self-sabotage game is on a hundred. You did that thing again where you press play but forget to plug in your headphones. Someone needs to put you to bed.]

It’s cold. Colder than it should be. The sky is falling and spilling all over the place, an inky mess outside my window. [The tarred roads of heaven were never really made to be walked on, only gazed upon.] I’m sitting on the edge of my bed, trying not to roll my eyes out of their sockets. I hate it when the moon becomes confrontational.

“You should write a book. Write a story,” she insists.

“Maybe later,”I mutter, almost inaudible.

“Why are you avoiding it?” she pries.

I hate it when she asks the right questions.

“I wouldn’t know where to start.”

Might as well be honest, there’s no one else to hear. The house has resumed its ghost-like silence and everyone sleeps with moth balls in their ears. The moon shudders and I don’t know whether it’s out of pity or indifference.

“That’s the same thing god said before creating the universe. Don’t disappoint me.”

Then the night clears and the fog creeps in and the moon fades, like she always does, doing nothing to herd the wayward sheep of my thoughts.


--

ADVICE FROM THE MOUNTAIN;

  1. You cannot eat love.

  2. Get some rest. No one should be up at this time.

  3. There are things bigger than what you deem big. Not all fires have to be fatal.

  4. When death looks you in the eye, it’s expected that you look right back. Wait for the snow to cover you while you make angel wings with your arms, like a splinter in the frosty skin of the driveway.

  5. You will learn that in essence, some people are like mountains. Not only in the way that they are magnificent but in the way that they are also monsters. Vile things, in damp, secluded places. There are things we don’t talk about for a reason. Things that make the sky seem watery; things that make the mountain goats feel skittish. We’ll just take it easy, sweep it under the mossy, pine gel infested carpet, and wait for the right time.

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