What should have been but never was.jpg

Issue 1

Tamara Franks


1. let the tone go through:

the last time you did this, the satellite
orbiting the earth of your body
lost power. somewhere in the
stratosphere a hybrid snake swallowed
a monument to John F. Kennedy
and vomited a bloated bust
of his head far above Alaska.                                                                 

2. there’s too much you haven’t seen:

 you took your father’s body
from a burning Impala
and carried it
for half a mile before anyone
saw you, his words dead in your ears,
but you reanimate their corpses
when you’re feeling lonely:
“you gotta do whatever you gotta do
to survive.”                                                              

3. Interstate 15 was a thick ribbon

splayed docilely in the distance,
and you counted whiptails
playing tag in desert shade.                                                                   

4. you have told me this before:

how heavy your blood rang,
how it called through the slick noise
of dusty oil stains on the pavement,
and carried you home as you waited
in some quiet part of yourself for the world
to fall through.                                                                    

5. but listen, just this once:

call on it again, let it ring.
next time you come here,
it’ll feel different.

Tamara Franks lives somewhere in the South, tending horses and writing poems. She also edits Figroot Press

Emily Corwin