Catherine Pond

Snow flanks the street, shoveled in piles higher than my head. It was the winter

of lost gloves and ear infections, of iced-over porch parties, of long-johns.


I lived with four girls. In the photo, my nails are Pepto pink, and the girls gather

around me, faces blurry in the frame. I remember the smell of their perfume—


Jo Malone, Chloe, Marc Jacobs—and the lime-basil scent of liquid soap

I stole handfuls of in our shared shower. That was happiness. We kissed


the lips of cold bottles, or we kissed each other. We slept curled against

one another in the dark. Late at night, death introduced itself, casually at first,


like a slant of light under the bedroom door. Lydia stood in the snow,

heaving drifts off the windshield of her car. Francesca taped a wood-cut print


to my window. When they hauled her off to rehab, I drew a house on a hill, 

thin and haunted. Adele was the first to get sober. I don’t blame her


for not coming back. I tried living anywhere after that. Still, when I close  

my eyes, I see snow. Piles of silvery clothes. I hear the clink of the beaded


curtains, the low whisper of voices at night, calling from room to room.


Catherine Pond's poems and essays have appeared in many magazines, including Boston Review, Narrative, and Rattle. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Southern California.