Chronicle of Lost Moments

Mrs. Dalloway said she would return the library book herself
had they even read the same book if books mirror the soul
then what sort of woman occupied her narrow bed
their connection had been close almost mystical
if not always harmonious lazy summer days by the lake
long winter nights reciting Shakespeare seemed a distant memory
Richard knew how to tend to her misgivings drag her out of dark moods
their love—or what passed for love—had seen her through many tempests
the fapping of flesh beneath the sheets, the averted glances
the weary sighs and queer day-to-dayness could not overbalance
the astonishing pleasantness of their extraordinary affection
a thunderclap and rungs of cold rain sent her dashing across the street
tucking the book beneath her mackintosh she ran under an awning
wiped her glasses with a small handkerchief then lit a cigarette
the book was blotted but not irrevocably still they would not take it back
better to leave it on a café table to dry and catch the eye of a passerby
she could purchase a copy of her own one she could pencil with marginalia
how many words could be written with a single pencil she wondered
before the end of its useful life a stub to be discarded in the trash
suddenly whelmed by a wave of despair the idea of abandoning
something felt very very dangerous she had forgotten the point of it all
she ashed the cigarette between the heel of her galosh and a wet cobble
hurled the book into the nearest puddle and walked out into the storm.

Lara Dolphin

Listen to Lara reading ‘Chronicle of Lost Moments’ (1:58)


Lara Dolphin lives in Pennsylvania. She is a recovering attorney, novice nurse, and full-time mother of four amazing kids. She is exhausted and elated most of the time.

© text and audio 2020