• Olivia E. Olson

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

Mathilde last night’s rain drips from the rich houses. A shattered

cabbage in the lawn, left for squirrels.

The celery I left like a gift to the gods bends like

extra-terrestrial bones. Untouched, love.

I’ve lived in a desirable town for 30-odd years

but it does not make me desirable. You and the other old ladies

lick their eye teeth and grin when the old

houses fall. The elephants we watched

on TV stood in their long rows, probed the matriarch’s

bleached eye socket. One at a time, at a time.

My dearest confidant, and I want to talk about the weather

and dreams, Mathilde, when no one is watching I want

to be boring. I dreamt myself breaking rules and painting

my nails. This is how I can write now, Mathilde, to you while

others eavesdrop. I'm waiting for some poet to tell me that's obtuse,

but I only bother to listen to you. My March Tarot was a chrysalis

surrounded by swords, I shit you not. Tarot would not repeat

itself so April was two wands bent together, whispering.

  • Olivia E. Olson

Dear Mathilde:

Shame you had to work today-- the weather’s just what you love. Dusk, weak sun. Kids hang their coats like limp lungs and it smells of blood and of cheap cereal.

Bent over on tiptoe, we’re sneaking through another season. Hush love he’ll hear us walking. Give us another day of it.

I dreamt up one horror after the other all night-- giraffes with thick, muscled throats and buck teeth. A bath in a crumbling castle filling up and up and over. Rain turned to dust turned to letters flicked from your fingernail into a basketful.

Our love, the clockmaker, woke wagging his head. Our dreams are busted, his sleep’s busted, someone’s adjusted his meds again. Where to go when the dreamworld won’t take you, waiting and waiting outside its gates. The gates have perfect mechanics, you know, but only from the inside.

I heard a long long quiet but he wasn’t sleeping. Help me. It’s going to be a beautiful day again, warm and sunny again. Fifty degrees, they say, all day and sunny. I opened the window just a snatch.

I heard a girl cry, a girl cry. Mathilde my love was it you.

  • Olivia E. Olson

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

Dear Mathilde:

We’re at the end of one of those humdrum nights.The dishwasher is turning over and over like always. The cats are napping on the couch’s neck, pinching the breathing apparatus just so.

Remember when mother sang the lullaby from Lady and the Tramp, and we could hear that throaty humming, bone to bone. In the morning we’ll take the hound out walking, she’ll put her blistered nose down to the ground and remember and remember.

On the walk around the river, I told an old friend I’m suspicious of nostalgia, but how quickly it spits me out these days. But what’s that hidden imp, living somewhere in the larynx maybe or the folds of water following us, telling me remember, remember. Telling me, love, don’t let any of it go.

At the thrift store I picked up an old coffee maker-- sleek and gold and dirty-- I pictured myself pouring you a small glass, just enough to sip a few times and let the rest get cold. It’d be Christmas, I think-- we’re only elegant around Christmas, dipping our heads together just once while some church bells close their eyes and make a racket. Mathilde, dear, you in your ruby red bow. What a perfect little lady.

We’ll look for our reflections in the busted carafe and wonder how we got this way. How’d we get this way, I’d ask you, and you’ll say, just barely get it out-- practical as ever-- sunsets, Lolly, sunsets and sunsets and forgetting them in the morning.