I used to have a glass menagerie. Little animals and birds, coloured translucent. They had been packed in cotton wool. I removed each and placed them on the shelf, arranging them as I would to save the tame ones from the tough.
The gazelle about to sprint was in a corner, a beauty in peach. The tiger was kept far away, but in its magnetic appeal I found something disturbing, as though by seeing through that glass I was wounding it with every glance. The dog followed the camel; the cat lay in repose…birds perched haughtily. I did not know what to do with the fish. The brilliant blue made me feel helpless as I thought it would die. I could not create water in the shelf. Each time I looked towards it I felt that sudden feeling of being choked. I realised that it seemed imperishable. Not every fish seems to need water.
One day the shelf that held them toppled over. They crashed to little pieces. I had these charming colours on my palms as I picked each bit. There was no blood on me. They had the grace to spare me. Or maybe they couldn’t destroy because they were dead?
Mere glass cannot imbue you with life even if it shapes you.