The first hologram I made was of a tree. I thought of you as I made it, and how you said it’s hard to remember what a summer tree looks like in the middle of winter.

I made a hologram of our old street. I left out the barrier wall and bridge. You can see the river better, but since I don’t remember the other side of the river, I let it fall away. There are shapes in the darkness—an interior light that someone forgot, the blur of a red Exit sign.

I made a hologram of the bird that flew into our house that night. There are mistakes. One eye is higher than the other. We are eating dinner, and you’re telling me about the tree. I mean to answer, but the bird is a shock.

I made a hologram of the time we drove halfway across the country. You did all the driving, which is why we only got halfway. As for the horrible fight we had in the hotel parking lot, I made it, took it out, then put it back in. I moved it to behind the dumpsters, so if you don’t want to watch it, you don’t have to.

I made a hologram of the day we almost got married. We canceled early enough so that the chairs remained stacked and the cake unbaked, but late enough so that no one else took our day. That made it worth losing the deposit. When the caretaker goes in to turn all the lights off, he leaves the barn door open. It claps against its wooden frame.

I made a hologram in the shape of a glass paperweight. At the center of the weight, you can see a pressed violet. If you turn the weight one way, the violet fades, and soon, you will see your dear mother’s face again. When she laughs, refracted light tricks across the ceiling.

I made a hologram of Paris. We are standing on a bridge, squinting. How we loved the black ink and thick blue paper at the stationer’s shop, the churches with their stone floors and wooden chairs, the evening sky. This hologram is done like a reflection in water. Run your hand through it and we appear.

I made a hologram of the last time you came to find me. You stood beneath my window in the dark, in the rain. In this version, you’re holding a lantern—the sort signalmen used. The edges of the wet trees are illuminated and sharp shadows are thrown across the face of my house.

Before the bird flew in, I was going to describe the most beautiful summer tree, but after the bird, I forgot. Years passed. I remembered. Look here, in the palm of my hand. I made you a hologram. This is what a tree looks like in summertime.

***

Beth Hahn (she/her) is the author of the novel THE SINGING BONE (Regan Arts, 2016). Her stories can be found in New World Writing, Fractured Lit, HAD, and CRAFT, among others. 

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