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VERONIQUE: There was always a “before” and “after.” Not before and after migration – at least, not exactly. Something else shaped these two worlds that my mother moved between.
I couldn’t follow her – but sometimes, when the door was ajar, I could peer through.
From a young age, I was pulled towards the places where reality shows its cracks, its seams. At every opening, I strained my ears, listening for snatches of the other side. Sometimes, this sense of not fully being “here” was an electric charge, an incantation, a miraculous melting away of selfhood. Sometimes, it was a riptide, which hooked my limbs and sent me spinning into the dark.
I couldn’t follow her, so I went somewhere else. Still, when I lifted the escape hatch, or slipped between the trees, part of me searched for the sweep of her shadow, the flicker of her footfalls, the whisper of her breath.