Someone Sends Me Galaxies

Chance Dibben

Short Story


A bouquet, not fully a galaxy—a globular cluster. I pluck the stars like a harp.

A Milky Way, preset on Io, Jupiter’s moon. I place this one in my garden. The constant light attracts moths and june bugs.

Starburst, no assignation. The note attached: yours to name. I label it Incognito, after my secret admirer.

A delicious little ring galaxy. I am in another depressive wipeout when this arrives. My dog jumps after the bright yellow at its center and doesn’t come back. I do occasionally hear her happy barks.

I open a package, hoping it is the special fertilizer I ordered. Instead, the galaxy inside slurps me in. I arrive at my house, on my porch again, hand fingering the package tape. Several rounds of getting sucked back to my starting point, I leave this galaxy in its box. It makes for a great conversation piece. I dare visitors to open the box.

Lenticular. I can balance it on my index finger, like a rake. If I were happier, more equalized, I might be concerned about these packages. Instead I’ve resigned to let mysteries be. The struggle for understanding is too much and if I get a Vanilla Coke, I call it a good day.

I am trying to capture a galaxy of my own to send to my admirer, when one appears in the corner of my living room; a cobweb. Oh, I am loved, I am loved by the universe and her creatures.

The rest of the Local Group. By this point, the galaxies are starting to clutter up my apartment. But I can’t get rid of even one. They are sent at just the right time, when I need a surprise or a connection. I want to tell whoever is sending me these things how much I value and appreciate the gestures. My apartment (one dog less) is a buzzing, chirping place, all scales of life and science happening at once. I want to think it is not some parallel universe version of me, but who else could understand my sadness, who else could know what I need?

My own galaxy. To some, pitiful. To others, humble. I mail it to the originating address and it comes back RETURN TO SENDER.

Chance Dibben is a writer, photographer, and music-maker living in Lawrence, KS. His poems and shorts have appeared in Split Lip, Reality Beach, Horsethief, Yes Poetry, matchbook, Hobart, as well as others. | @chancedibben



Editor's Letter



X on X