Close Calls

On bad days I watch CCTV footage of car wrecks
and unscathed drivers walking away. Babies falling off tables
and getting caught. I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been busy.
I haven’t written in a while to set myself down in obsolescence
and endure. Coffee brings our the brute in me, booze
puts a damp hand on my eyelids and pushes gently down, down.
What will we meet over, then, my dear friend? Empty hands, my thumb-
skin torn down to the smart pink. His tablet of caffeine, controlled dose. My self-
help book says to thank my heart each morning. I question the wisdom
of granting it this agency. Suddenly, so many bodies are time bombs--
my father’s heart, my sister’s left breast, my dear friend’s mind rotting
like October leaves in this October heat. As we wait for the season to change,
I imagine everyone writing about these years we have left. How warm it is.
How short it is. How close to impossible can possible get. How sweet to slip over
that deadline. How wise would it be to accept such power. How wise instead to accept.

Olivia Olson is a librarian and writer living in metro Detroit, and she is a recent graduate of Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers. Her published work can be found at oliviaeolson.com.

Olivia’s work previously appeared in July 2017.