In The Lemon-Rind Light / by Claire Oleson


 The most tragic thing I’ve ever seen was this girl named Ella standing by a window, accidentally wearing a choker of sunlight across her neck, and holding a crumbled poppyseed muffin in her hands.

 I know that there are sadder things, but outside of myself and everything else, that glimpse of someone’s named darling standing in strangled sunlight cupping something half-edible and half-decimated in her small palms moved tides in me. 

She probably wasn’t sad, and I wasn’t sad, but the light and the air and her sun-given jewelry all coaxed me into a casual despair. 

You don’t have to understand it, (I definitely don’t) but it happened and I like to think it’s still happening somewhere to someone.

Someone is looking at a soft fruit of light ripening on a stranger’s skin and they are making up a tragedy to put there, just to see one, just to get by for a little while longer until there’s a more rational sadness to bite into. 



Claire Oleson is a writer who was born and raised in Grand Rapids Michigan under the loving and intriguing watch of two married psychotherapists. More of her work can be found here: