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  • Olivia E. Olson

Dear Mathilde: April 2, 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.



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