Franklin, Kentucky 1995
My grandma is in her living room in a polyester
dress suit. She fills green glass bowls with full-
shelled nuts while my brothers and I watch
music videos on her console television.
Beside me my middle brother opens and closes
the corkscrew on his Swiss Army Knife.
A fog blows out of the pink bathroom down
the hall. It covers the picture frames on the walls.
My kindergarten photo goes first,
and then grandma’s momma and her sister
by an old car, and my daddy and momma stoic
in front of a trailer. The fog moves on
erasing her pink shag runner, and the closet door.
It’s coming for us. It covers the T.V., and spreads
up the walls and over the wood paneling. I slip
between the sofa and the coffee table,
and pray to the Pinky and Blue Boy on the living
room wall—it erases them. My grandma
says something important, but I can’t hear her
before she’s gone, and the fog rolls us all over.
Erin Carlyle’s work has been featured in literary magazines such as Ruminate, Driftwood Press, and forthcoming in Prairie Schooner. Her chapbook, You Spit Hills and My Body, is published with Dancing Girl Press. She holds a MA in Literary and Textual Studies from Bowling Green State University, a graduate certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies from Western Kentucky University, and an MFA in Poetry from Bowling Green State University.