Rachel Careau

Old Sweater | Alongside
March 9, 2014 Careau Rachel

Old Sweater

On November 21, in late afternoon, I open the bottom drawer of my bureau, a lustrous horse-chestnut-colored Empire bureau that has probably belonged to many people, all of whom are now dead, and take from the drawer an old sweater, which once belonged to a woman who is now dead, and, after pulling the sweater, the wool of which was shorn from a fine Rambouillet ewe that is now dead, onto my body, begin carefully picking from the sweater both the hair of the dead woman and the hair of her two cats, which have for some time now been, like these others, dead.




In the corner, within the low, close shade of the rose of Sharon and the odor of loam and leaf mold and dried grass clippings, among the moving shadows of the bodies of small birds, beside the sand-colored, stuccoed concrete block of the wall, after the sun has moved below the rim of the tall, pale wall, beneath the scratchings of branches against this tall wall and of the branches’ brittle seedpods, whose chambers have already let go their small fruit, between the dense dark green of hibiscus leaves and the cool, tall pale of the rising wall, on the ground within whose darkness blackberry roots soundlessly take hold, I lie down, alongside.

Rachel Careau is a writer and translator and the author of one book of prose poems, Itineraries. Her stories and translations have appeared most recently in Harper’s, Plume, Lemon Hound, and Two Lines, where her essay on translating the work of the Swiss author Roger Lewinter, “The Trivial and the Sublime: Roger Lewinter’s ‘Passion,’” also appeared. Her translations of Lewinter’s Story of Love in Solitude and The Attraction of Things were published by New Directions in fall 2016.