Mail Order

By Ksenia Panova

June 25, 2018

Mail Order

You know what I heard, I heard your mother was a mail order briiiiiiide. 

The girl with a thoroughly sensible name in my first-grade class drew out the last word, and I struggled with the new sentence structure as I chewed my beet salad thoughtfully. I imagined my mother, curved and covered in calico print, awkwardly crammed into a first-class shipping box, and wondered at the space she’d take up. 

There were her songs and the piano; the room her hands needed to play the melody she cupped with her mouth about lilies-of-the-valley as she feigned baritone, and the Chopin and, goodness, all of her sheet music. 

Then there were the armfuls of plums from my grandfather’s old garden in Russia when she told me to breathe in, almost wine. 

The flecks of rainbow she made when she scaled fish in the kitchen and compared the glistening roe to strings of amber. 

Then there were her cloisonne strawberry teacups, the milk she let unfurl in them every morning until I could compare the Ceylon to her auburn hair. 

Pressed flower bouquets; every character with its own voice from Legend of the Firebird and Other Stories; the long strides; cut crystal bottles of oily perfume. 

I thought of the weather she carried with her, her tulip bulbs, buckets of mushrooms, vocal range, tea steam, anthologies, a conservatory of a second home. It was illogical. I appealed to mathematics: 

She wouldn’t fit, stupid.

comments powered by Disqus « Back to Beautiful-Things

Newsletter Sign Up

shadow shadow