By Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

Nick makes Mother a model of a cathedral. She envies the great European cathedrals. They let people release sorrows. She’s always yearned to sit for hours in Gothic splendor.

     He can give her this.

     He sands, glues pieces, erects buttresses, towers. Nick thinks of Mother’s sorrows. Hugging him after Daddy took off. Pretending to laugh as bills rose, a fortress of indebtedness.

     “Hope for the best, expect the worst,” she’d said.

     The cathedral comes apart, pieces tumbling.  Mother tells him it’s grand. It’s a lie, but there’s something assuring. She doesn’t dissect his flaws, like Daddy.

     He loves her for it.