Scope

Last night I read something about impermanence and I remembered the time when my mother gave me the kaleidoscope. She handed it to me, a brass cylinder in a soft blue velvet cloth with a drawstring on one end that tied with a white ribbon. I don’t know where she got it, and it was apparent to me that she had just acquired it, but I never asked her where it came from. (It was midsummer and I was drinking too much. I remember one night I lay awake and watched the foxfiregreen pulse of a firefly that had gotten into the house. It was flying around the room the next morning, and when I went off to work I left my mother a note to warn her that it was there, dormant and flareless against the windowpane. I was afraid she’d think it was a wasp or a bee and kill it. it seemed so fragile to me, so vulnerable, and its tiny folded wings, black with red stripes at the edges, tightened my throat with their smallness.) the kaleidoscope held colors darker and less bright than you might expect: slate, oxblood, cleargold, winesong, deep purple, palest winterblue, hard rust. No cerulean, scarlet, or fuchsia. Reflective tones. Dense, complex. I can still see them when I hold the kaleidoscope up to lamplight now and they’re as pure as they were then. the blue cloth encasing the scope is musty and the circle at the end you hold up to your eye has come loose. All it needs is some super glue but I hesitate to fix it. this circle is spotted with rust and I rather like how its tones of auburn and gray fit into the colorscape of the glass at the other end of the tube. When my mother gave me this kaleidoscope, she told me that change was the only constant and to celebrate that. I like having to hold the loose metal ring against my eye when I hold the scope up to the light, a scrap of fallenness gently acknowledged but not negated. a tag of flow and scatter, of attachment come loose and propped lightly against the grooves of its house of glass and metal.

l.k. sorrells copyright 2007

Scope

Laurkat

Jasper, United States

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