Carla Schwartz



At the Textile Museum

According to you,
I should stare at my toes,
mouth stitched closed,
woven like the dishtowels
they sell at the shop.

I pitch a ball of words, you say,
from left field. I toss out
a simple statement.
You run to catch,
but screw the ball into my mouth,
and then, turn up your volume —
It’s about me. Only me, you say.
So am I an ornament, a wall hanging?

You scold me, in front of the guard.
My ribbons droop to the floor,
and the guard, embarrassed,
stares at his own toes
and makes a joke.

I feel like a muzzled dog. My bark
is no bark, it is whimper.

Upstairs, we meet another guard.
As this is your day,
you discard the pleasantries
I exchange with her,
and interrupt our conversation
with I have a question.

Is it a bolt or a beam? you ask,
in reference to what holds the thread
that feeds the weave.

I won’t be the child you want to swat away.
I want to bolt, but stay,
not such a good pet though —






Carla Schwartz is a poet, filmmaker, photographer, and blogger. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Aurorean, Fulcrum, Ibbetson Street, Leveler, Lost River, Mom Egg, SHARKPACK, The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics, and City of Notions, A Boston Poetry Anthology, among others. Her most recent poetry collection is Intimacy with the Wind, Finishing Line Press (2017). Her CB99videos youtube channel has 2,000,000+ views. Learn more at, or or find her on twitter or instagram @cb99videos.