PRISCILLA FRAKE

★ ★ ★ ★

POETRY

What Should I Ask For? What Should I Ask?

Morning; the quiet
of mountainous cloud freighting
the bright horizon. Elsewhere,
just the dim world blundering
into being. Everyone rushes off
and I stay behind. Isn’t this
what I wanted— the house empty
and the day before me?
Haven’t I bought this freedom
dearly? Tell me:
how wisely do you spend
the coin of your fortune,
the small change of an hour?
Light’s liquid currency pours
into the quiet, but the room
remains empty. How deeply
can I drink before I drown?

Sunday Conversations With My Mother

“I’m giving up desire”, so
you tell me on the phone
but by now your
Sunday-certainty is thin

and the end of desire
lies a long way from here,
out under trees
where the light illuminates
each particle of dust,
out beyond the wind.

Where I live now
there are no trees.
Bare poles support the swaying
wires that connect us.
I tell you not to fear
as I clutch my red receiver

while you sit
in a blue room
among distant mountains
talking to the wind.

Passenger Safety Information, DAL Love Field

1. If you experience a sudden drop in pressure,
breathe deeply and keep your head down
below the level of your heart.
2. Remain calm.
3. As soon as Love appears, pull down firmly
to activate the flow of happiness.
4. Keep your seatbelt fastened.
5. Some degree of turbulence is to be expected.
6. It is not necessary to secure your own happiness
before helping the person beside you.
7. In the event of a breakup or breakdown,
leave behind all emotional baggage.
8. The nearest exit may be behind you or in the past tense.
9. A buoyant heart may be used as a flotation device.
10. Enjoy your short flight; prepare for descent.

Priscilla Frake is the author of Correspondence, a book of epistolary poems.  She has work in Verse Daily, The Sun, Nimrod, The Midwest Quarterly, Medical Literary Messenger, The Wayfarer, Whale Road, Spoon River Poetry Review, and The New Welsh Review, among others. Anthology publications include Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Enchantment of the Ordinary, and Women. Period. She lives in Asheville, NC, where she is a studio jeweler.

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