Try not to think too much about this—trust me—but it's probably pretty easy to knock the universe over. To look up and see galaxies gaining momentum as they skip past us down the tilting fabric of space/time and shatter into each other like antique glassware. To see black holes screech and claw at each other like alley cats fighting over territory. Radio waves fold back on themselves to remind us of the stupid shit we’ve put out there. Then: a star—someone else’s sun—crashes through the gate of our Oort Cloud and rolls towards us, and it’s just like it was at the planetarium, on that elementary school field trip where I was introduced to the claustrophobia of watching a tiny yellow dot—projected at the center of the bowl above us—get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger still, pressing down on my class all leaning back on reclining movie theater seats, whisper-laughing at me for trying to hide under mine because our entire field of vision was taken up by something so large they said you wouldn’t be able to see around its edges, that our brains aren’t big enough to understand big, that if Earth was the size of a basketball the sun would be as big as the distance from Mrs. Wado’s classroom to the 7-11 and that out there? Pressing against the plastic-bag skin of our universe? There are things even bigger than this star, which has squished our sun like a grape to yellow us to death, but not before another timeline bubbles up from the waves of dark matter lapping at my feet, allowing me to dive through: to stuff a wrench into that planetarium’s projector, to find myself after school lets out that day, to be the guy that told me I should look down more, I should focus on the size of infection from that cut I gave myself with my first knife, how taxes and student loans are the biggest things in the universe, I remember that winter day when the sun was so cold and so small, when that guy also told me I should only, only really worry about the distances between me and other people, who can be as big or little as I make them.
Timothy C Goodwin has work included in Maudlin House, Roi Fainéant, BULLSHIT, and elsewhere. His photography has been featured in Fuzz, Untold, and Myssfit Magazine. He lives in New York City with his partner and their dog, Awesome. @timothycgoodwin.bsky.social.