by M.R. Mandell
The day before the verdict, she sits alone, foot cocked on the railing, head tilting towards Sunset Boulevard. I recognize her Chanel sunglasses immediately. I imagine she is praying, or waiting for a ghost, the way she slowly lifts her spoon to her lips, kissing frozen yogurt as if it were her last meal. We’re neighbors, but I’ve never seen her before. I don’t want her autograph. I want to ask if she knew Nicole. If they lunched, maybe took walks along the golf course, stopped to pick produce at the Farmer’s Market. I want to ask if she heard screams that night, dogs barking, the last breaths of a mother calling for help. Or if, like me, she slept soundly.
M.R. Mandell (she/her) is a poet and photographer based in Los Angeles. A transplant from Katy, Texas, she now lives by the beach with her muse, a Golden Retriever named Chester Blue (at her feet), and her longtime partner (by her side). You can find her work in Boats Against the Current, The Final Girl Bulletin Board, Dorothy Parker’s Ashes, JAKE, Roi Fainéant, sage cigarettes, Anti-Heroin Chic, Stanchion Zine, Fine Print, unstamatic, Drunk Monkeys, Olney, and others.
Forthcoming: Five Minute Lit, Writers Resist, The Cherita and Drunk Monkeys.