art by Richard Gagnon
From the Divide
by Nathan Tavares
You'll get to see the sky, they said.
We see the sky all the time, we said. Hello. Look out the windows.
No, they said. You don't see how it's supposed to be. What you see outside is blackness. Empty. The sky back home is really blue.
But this is home, we said.
It wasn't always, they said.
They told stories us about other things. Big oceans and ships that floated on them, taking people to other shores. They had to explain shores, too. Then land. Continents.
We boarded our ship with our parents, when we were about your age, they said. But we remember home so well because we miss it so much. We'll get to show it to you soon.
When we were alone, our parents back in the bridge with their screens and maps, we laughed. Oceans. Birds in the air. We rolled our eyes. Right.
We were alone a lot. Our parents were busy. Exploring, they said. Mapping stars. Pointing things from the ship out into the blackness, while the rest of us hung out. Look at me, I'm a cat, we'd say, crouched on all fours. We could barely talk because we were laughing so hard.
Look, we're not making this up, they said. They flicked movies onto one of the walls of home. Mountains that reached into the air. Cliffs that broke into the ocean. Dried river beds. Bones of huge things in the earth.