Mollie McMullan


Carol Jean melts into the bed,

a symphony of flesh and bone.

Shadow falters at the sight of her

but advances nevertheless.

In the valley between pillow and sheet, my mother reaches

into the hollow of Carol Jean and remembers

the way she loved her husband.

How she scooped up the moon in soap-cracked palms and

served it for dinner.

How she scrawled her will on watercolor paper and played

Fur Elise on Beethoven’s birthday.

The way she knit hats through the knobs of her fingers

for her grandchildren.

Her memory is interrupted by others,

the edge of a screwdriver down an esophagus.

An ambulance,

morphine’s embrace,

the blink of an eye: a camera.

She suffocates under linen:

respiration betrayal.

In an orthopedic bed, Carol Jean is dressed in her favorite shirt and given back her glasses.

She will have no watch.

Mollie McMullan is a junior at SUNY Geneseo. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her dog around in circles and cutting up magazines for collages she’ll never complete.