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  • Writer's pictureJasmine Butler

Optical Illusion / Puddles

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

The potholes below Jewel’s window are her favorite optical illusion. From her second-story perch, the large puddles bordering on small ponds

are endless portals to an underwater dimension. Sunlight reflects rainbows off their surfaces, amplifying the already opulent chimera Jewel envisions of their depths.

She imagines diving from her window sill into the infinite pool of rainwater, sure that she’ll emerge on the other side into a new universe, one upside down and fully emerged, her usually weighted ringlets now a weightless, defiant fro, all giant shells for studios and macho lobster still life models, yes everyone there is an artist, nautical bartering the way of life and the pursuit of fresh air, new horizons, their dreamer’s favorite impossibility.

The illusion ⸺upon descending the oak staircase and crossing the threshold of her home dimension’s palace, she finds her portal is only a puddle. Wide, but rather shallow, its unremarkable depth rather lackluster in comparison to the infinite oasis she imagined. Beneath the surface holds no more promise than shiny pebbles and reflective cobblestones.

Jewel stays in her room these days, preferring the possibility of her favorite illusion to the reality of the shallow outdoors.

Edited by: Cecilia Innis

Cover Photo: Jasmine Butler

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