By Carla T. Griswold
When I am with her
the air stops still.
I smell her fetid breath,
her age on her tongue.
I feel the decay of old photographs
and of her shortening bones.

I breathe the dust of her stories
and climb over
the piles of furniture,
wood, and magazines
that protect her.
The closer I come,
the more vulnerable she feels
and the more stuff
she brings home.

My life and I
are too big for her house.
I can't move.
My knees bang into
sharp corners, my gestures
knock items off walls.
In here, my arms
can't open wide enough
to hold her.

If I could only become
a small but intricately carved
I could fit into the only space left
on her table
and be able to offer reflections
of her loving
but frightened face.


Carla T. Griswold is one of the winners from the first bi-annual KotaPress Anthology Contest! We here at KotaPress are proud to showcase her work in this way. KotaPress Anthology Vol. 1, No. 1 will be released in October 2000. Look for more of Carla's work there!


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