“Young Mother Contemplating Her Child,” oil on canvas, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1871.

by Claire Taylor

yes, my love
I know
a pillow can be forts and mountains
stepping-stones that slide
on hardwood floors and end
in tears. a throw pillow
can be a cement mixer
who’s mad at the dump truck body pillow
for running out of
breakfast cereal this morning
(your symbolism lacks subtlety)
but no, I do not know this thing
you call a molvar
no matter how often you repeat the word with
the arrogant confidence of a man I hope
you don’t grow up to be

I pet the pillow like a dog
honk its horn, tell molvar
we should take a trip
to the grocery store, buy some more cereal
salt in an open wound. my mistake

oh, sweet boy
don’t you know
a pillow is for resting
long minutes flow into hours
days, weeks, months, and
the years go by so fast
until molvar is a memory only
I will hold
like the weight of your soft head
echo of your scream
though we were both there
those nights
when a pillow was
a vessel for my tears

omega man

Claire Taylor is a writer in Baltimore, MD. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications and has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories. She is the creator of “Little Thoughts,” a monthly print and digital newsletter of original writing for kids. Find Claire at clairemtaylor.com and @ClaireM_Taylor.