Rebecca Morgan Frank

The Art of Reading

Candlepin, lynchpin, safety pin become
death by fire, hanging, stabbing. Cocktail
becomes the plumage of a male bird
staring me down in the dirt. Napkin
is a sleeping cousin drooling on my bed:
it’s noon. Heaven-sent, you smell like
the gods. A word can sock you with a kick,
mock you in a turtleneck, hiding its intent.
Barely. Comedy is two-faced, watching.
Come on, give it a try. Hot dog? Wild
flower? Everything is sweaty and dancing
when you bring back the inanimate.
Looking into its violent core, dormant
but burning to be read wrong, read right.

Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of Little Murders Everywhere ( Salmon 2012), a finalist for the Kate Tufts Award, and her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Guernica, The Georgia Review,  Blackbird, Crazyhorse, Best New Poets 2008 and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers and is the co-founder and editor of the online magazine Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction.