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  • m.v. riasanovsky

Anatomy of a Telescope

Updated: Mar 3

Lucrecia Beckert and Yvette Vega are about to die together. It is December. The massive lighthouse was long ago converted into a restaurant, spiraling and precarious with random tables jutting out from the staircase into the middle of the structure, where the tables are balanced upon wooden flats with diagonal poles bracing against the thick and ancient lighthouse walls, an autumnal shade of green for some reason, probably the choice of the former owner prior to the renovation and kept for its mysterious charm, where the waiters delicately climb along the staircase, clambering with hot plates and brimming glasses of the season’s finest beverages to a laughing and always effervescent crowd, and secondly converted to a laundromat in the sub-base levels, swirling clothing in fresh water as the waves swirl and crash along the rocks upon the lighthouse’s exterior, and finally a living quarter not unlike a countryside cottage, but imaginably architecturally quite distinct, at the top of the lighthouse, nestled just below the widow’s walk, lantern room, cupola, and lightning rod.

December came quickly. Before then, slowly. Windy winters along this particular coast have quietly hollowed the shores the lighthouse calls home, each day curving the banks just slightly until one day, a million years give or take from now, there will be a barren nothing where once water crawled lovingly to land before falling back from the moon’s beckoning. Erosion, perhaps, or entropy. Something that starts with an e and ends with the receding shoreline. The restaurant is bustling and the noise only so muffled by the deep-set stones and bricks creating the backbone of the beacon. Lucrecia and Yvette have visited the crowds, waving and smiling as glasses clinked in their honor. The crowds, perpetual horrible crowds. In and out the door, up and down the stairs, pissing and shitting their way through meals reconstructed out of pasta that continuously churns and rattles through the rolling machine. An endless starchy möbius strip of food and wine and anniversaries and private birthday parties and dramatic throwings of pinot noir on adulterous lovers and scraping forks to plates and sending food back to the chef. Lucrecia and Yvette preferred to leave all of that below them, comfortable in their dainty tower with the wind and storm their only lullaby, sea spraying their windows leaving a slightly lime-y rust along the edges of things. Everything always becoming a rust with edges.

The laundromat is the perfect escape – a cellar for wine and starchy dress shirts. It is cool, only slightly damp, and a thick, full-bodied television runs constantly with daytime soap operas, the favorite of Yvette’s being the one about the recently reunited and estranged family that moved into a deep-space orbiting telescope pointed directly at earth. The family must learn to live together once again while observing earth and piloting their telescope through turbulent asteroids and unknown alien planets abrim with vibrant and strange lifeforms, to warn humans about any harm in their wake. The telescope, a beacon of a kind, the interior so preposterously gigantic, only a dramatic four-season failure television series could have envisioned as the home to the beloved Maratia family. They live on a loop, observing and observed in the laundromat sub-basement of the lighthouse restaurant. This is where they will presently drown. 

Lucrecia and Yvette begin the great tampering like a ritual to deliver promise. The washing machines give quickly, as an old and forgotten investment in a world not unlike this but with several years between them, where Lucrecia and Yvette began themselves anew in a lighthouse home. The soapy water pours and the soapy operas fizzle and the television begins to swim. Yvette and Lucrecia hold one another under water, never once closing their eyes as the darkness consumes them. It rises upward and they bubble mouth their love to one another. 

The water consumes all of the tired paintings and expensive cooking equipment and then spirals up the staircase, much more gracefully than any patron ever had, and fills the sealed rubble and mortar home, a statute of signals forewarning us all to the grim will of the waters and wind. The water consumes next the stairs and tables then the little trap door at the top of the stairs through which Yvette and Lucrecia would peak to make their small little tiny appearances to the guests every so often as the restaurant manager so often pulled from them, like the teeth that are now filling with fluid as water bears up and down through lung and cottage, until finally the water seeps up and through the widow's walk, the lantern room bursting until darkness cleans herself across the sanded beach. The light out after a century of bearing out the truths to all who heeded. The light shattered glass scattered to the future of observation, the listlessness of concerned declarations and warnings. 

The lighthouse swallowed whole by itself, so well insulated only the casted figures within a snow globe of memory and testimony for all that passed through this place. A spectacle of entrance and a compulsory apology between star and sky, sea and land, the way we speak within these passageways of light and sound, a permanent home to Yvette and Lucercia, floating in between space and time, in a darkened tomb only set this December.

About m.v. riasanovsky (lowercase):

M.v. riasanovsky (they/them) is a nonbinary, queer, disabled, and autistic poet living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains in central Virginia. They have self-published several zines and have been part of DIY/alt-lit writing communities. They are a grant writer and are passionate about leftist movements.

Below, you’ll find m.v. riasanovsky’s past and forthcoming publications:

  • PITH-UNIVERSALITY-BELOVED (poetry) - The Fawn Edition 2024, Antler Velvet Arts Magazine (jan 2024)

  • anatomy of a telescope (fiction) - Aether Avenue Press (feb 2024)

  • bark bodies (poetry) - Dark Reads, Thin Veil Press (feb 2024)

  • stink bugs, if you don’t bury your guns you can’t grow a gun tree [i say this and everyone laughs because they’re drunk] (poetry) - pending publication in Online FeaturesBullshit Lit (mar 2024)

  • glasses (poetry/prose) - pending publication in Queer SpaceFruit Journal (may 2024)

  • requiem, the sleepy poem in two parts (poetry) - pending in KIN, DOG TEETH Literary Magazine (2024)

  • LOBOTOMY!, xo confessional, ***heat death of the planet*** (poetry) - pending publication in Bimbo Feminist Anthology, Purple Ink Press (2024)

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