OíHaraís Treachery

First, she forgot the names
of vegetables.  The kitchen

light grew angry, and the mousetraps
slept unsnapped.  This, in spite of peanut

butter, and electroshock
therapy.  Next, she threatened

to cut off your most popular finger, the one
who was voted Most Likely to Succeed.  And,

according to your mother, 
they were right.  The kitchen

knife calmed down after a sip of orange juice
and half the salami sandwich.  This, in spite

of no mustard, and her
recently remembered

miscarriage.  Darla, your mother is embarrassed
beyond crutches, and insists again on annoying me

with words I hateó
casinoing, Webinar, Darlaís

little sister.  Yesterday, she told me she planned
to kill you with a mackerel, convinced beyond

medicine of the rightness
of Ethel Merman and every

broken rodent in the inside trash.  I canít believe
our necks are still intact, that our pinkies are still

the smallest.  After this, what 
can she do but watch Bruce Lee

movies, kiss the screen when OíHara dies.  She makes
herself Irish, though she is Polish, and cries in the language

of foods with forgotten
names.  In this light, I can

almost convince myself itís opera.  Tomorrow, letís
escape to a state with at least four syllables, letís say it

over and over tonight
in our bed, for permission

and promise.  Letís pretend she shaved her head
on purpose, that the ceiling fan is a good ghost.

Kiss me, Darla, and die
like a parent, a mouse

in the muscular snarl of the brain, the green
blanket shoved into her mouth like tea leaves

wishing themselves cactus
paddles.  Here, soundly is not

soundless.  God, you taste like paper, tonight ripped
at the spirals.  In this kind of sleep, everything 

lasts, and is last:  Pray
she wakes slowly with

turnip having made it at least halfway
to her lips.    
 
________________________________________

Matthew Gavin Frank was born and raised in Illinois and currently teaches Creative Writing at Northern Michigan University. He is the author of Barolo (The University of Nebraska Press), Pot Farm (forthcoming from The University of Nebraska Press), Warranty in Zulu (Barrow Street Press), The Morrow Plots (forthcoming from Black Lawrence/Dzanc Books), Sagittarius Agitprop (Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc Books), and the chapbooks Four Hours to Mpumalanga (Pudding House Publications) and Aardvark (West Town Press). Recent and forthcoming work appears, or will appear, in Redivider, The New Republic, The Huffington Post, Field, Epoch, AGNI, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, North American Review, Pleiades, Crab Orchard Review, The Best Food Writing, The Best Travel Writing, Creative Nonfiction, Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, Gastronomica, and others.