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page 26

Marian Olson, USA


The Phone Call


The telephone rings and I absently answer, "Hello?" For the next few minutes I listen to a stranger tell me that my high school friend is dead, a car crash. "Thank you for calling," I say and hang up, my mind flooded with memories: summer sun sparkles on our wet bodies dripping with cool pool water; her eyes flashing with turquoise light, our laughter rising bubble after bubble at a goofy game she shows me; dark circles beneath her eyes, and our talks into the night: Persephone lost for a while in the underground. All the hours and years of our lives intertwined like sunlight through lacy trees or bare winter branches; my friend, oh my friend.

word of her death
poppies too gaudy
to love today


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