Become a grapevine flowering across a wall instead.
Instead, become a little boy named Larry who was born
in Fresno. Instead, become the shadow that falls
across the stucco while the sun sets. Become a name
for an inn. Instead, watch the grapevine and flower
and wonder how your father, with his gut and comic
books, might have tended such a thing, how he might
have rendered whole fields of them, valleys, Californian
widths. Imagine the knife. Imagine your thumb slipping,
a tall Native American, make up all these things. Get a slice
of pizza and think it over. Can you make up for all these things
instead of making them up? Can you become something more
than a statistic? Can you flower? Can you tap yourself
for syrup, and when the imaginary knife rips back
into the motor of your hand, can the blood be real, please?
I’ve got no debts. I’ve got no hammer to crack the wall,
no blade to rend my certificate or the paper it’s written on,
this paper, this blank, blank paper and its right-branching
little vine spilling across the page.
Amy Carlberg is from Toronto. She attended the University of Victoria, Concordia University, and Sarah Lawrence College for Writing. She has appeared online in Baldhip Magazine, The Squawk Back, The Boiler Journal, Sound Lit Magazine, Cactus Heart Press, Really System, and The Rumpus. She's had the pleasure of taking part in the Dead Rabbits Reading Series and the Renegade Reading Series. Her Twitter handle is @amyvcarlberg.