Thursday Mar 30

FrankRebeccaMorgan Rebecca Morgan Frank's first book, Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon, 2012), was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming such places as 32 Poems, Guernica, Harvard Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares. She is an assistant professor at the Center for Writers, the University of Southern Mississippi's graduate creative writing program, and she edits the online magazine

Leda, After

I felt the needle go in.
I was in a goose body, I
was all down and feather
and puddles. Everywhere
I could hear myself calling.
I migrated away from my
Self. It was cold there.
Formations occurred
around me. The truth
is that the sound
of thousands of wings
flapping around you
is similar to a thousand
hooves of an army. From
the center you are bound
to be beaten, buried.
Even in air this can happen.
Even among your own.
Yet the current changed
and airborne I was
suddenly alone. All
clouds. The silence now
its own stampede.

Gunning for It

Have you ever smelled the residue? Surely
a car has backfired on your street, sent your
pulse climbing up the back stairs. Have you
ever held the cold power in your palm? Heats
up from your body, doesn’t it? Cools down
the body it hits. Have you seen the warmth
wiped out of skin? When you haven’t, you know
the numbers are gunning for you. They’ll track
you down anywhere with ease. Violence rests
everywhere, even in your histories. Take me,
for example: an ancestor shot a man in the head
once– he stopped a mass murderer
in his tracks. How do you explain a history
like that? By telling the whole story? How
the relative also left another man for dead,
having hit him over the head with rage?
He had that kind of temper. The innocent
man happened to live, just as the guilty man
fell dead before he took a street of lives.
Justice just an accident where violence
meets its match, lucks into the victory of merit.
You touch the gun, it breathes in, breathes out.
Plots a future of its own, weighs its chances
of righteousness, of the right hand unwavering.

Crusoe is Still There

All the trees have left me.
They left behind the birds.
The birds left, and left
behind their songs.
I keep singing them
here, in the desert
of my loneliness.
Sometimes I see
flight far above
in the atmosphere.
Astronauts, honeymooners,
a flock of something
quick and passing.
I wonder if they look down.
I wonder if they see
me and think I didn’t
know there was life
down there. I wonder
if they hear my song.