George Franklin

In the White Mountains

 

Figures in eighteenth-century French wigs billowed in windswept clouds,

From that northern height where the sky’s haberdasher kept clouds.

 

But when I photographed you, your eyes reflected only me, reflecting you,

Mise-en-abyme.  It was the mirrored sky reflected soft-lipped clouds.

 

As fog closed in, we stopped looking at the sky for shapes, made-up

Figures in costume.  We feared that under our feet tipped clouds.

 

We rappelled down the mountainside.  The snow had turned to solid ice.

Shadows came on quick from the ocean’s east wind and out-leapt clouds.

 

It was dark by the time we got back to the car, and we shivered when the day heat

Left us as we drove—breaking up soon after.  No way to explain it except clouds.

Phone Call

 

After midnight, and you called, I guess, to wish me a happy new year.

You sounded a little drunk, but that was already last year.

 

Through the telephone, I could hear your voice

Trying to speak over others—so much can happen in a year.

 

I still don’t know why you called then, or what you wanted so badly

To tell me.  I think I heard you say that getting over love sometimes takes a year.

 

I had already gone to bed when you called, sinking into sleep

Where a day or a minute is no different from a year.

 

When I tried to phone the next day, your voicemail

Told me to leave a message, that you would call back next year.

George Franklin practices law in Miami and teaches poetry workshops in Florida state prisons.  His poems have been most recently published in B O D Y, Salamander, Matter, Scalawag, Sheila-Na-Gig, Gulf Stream, The Ghazal Page, Rumble Fish Quarterly, Vending Machine Press, Rascal, and The Wild Word, and translated into Spanish and presented in a dual-language format in Alastor and Nagari.  Poems are forthcoming in Revista Conexos.