Size / / /

Immortal, but not happily, I wait.

If Jane Austen can be freshened by

an infusion of assorted monsters,

how delightful might my story be

if I had, instead of a wracking cough,

sharp teeth with which to tear the throat

of Gilbert Osmond and deliver my

beloved Isabel from his cruel thrall.

Alternately, to breathe through gills, no need

of blasted lungs, would be a mercy. But

I would not like to be a ghost, for that

is close to what I am. Deliver me

from my sickbed and my kindness. I am

tired of being selfless. Deliver me

from these blocks of realistic prose

with no reprieve from illness, locked inside

my body, inside this book.

Gwynne Garfinkle lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in such publications as Uncanny, Lackington’s, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, and Not One of Us. Her collection of short fiction and poetry, People Change, is forthcoming in October from Aqueduct Press.
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