Putting the Mountain Back in the Molehill
by Rita Anderson
Exaggeration is used for focus.
Let me put it to you this way:
a surgeon inflates a patient’s abdomen,
organs stark against the gas; a bladder distended
with water is not an ovary and so
hyperbole sharpens perspective. I thought
I had buckets of love for you, a gallon of clown
confetti, but I have found it’s only eight ounces,
of which a teaspoon is left. Having been
lovers, we have more and less.
If it is not this pain, there’s another.
Not this joy, another. Sometimes
smoke is not fire but what is left,
a last ember watched out of fear
not desire to make sure the house
won’t burn down. A last duty before sleep.
But, I don’t want to talk about it and, having
said so, can think of nothing else. Things.
Things! Things in their thingy-ness
are kind of personal. And so the reverse
is true: what I have locked out
has seized the cottage, but you will not be
the wolf I tuck in. You cannot be the friend I call.
Really, you can only be nothing at all.