after Beckett

I would like my love to die
Or at least that I didn’t love you

So much. If I could turn my heart
To winter, I wouldn’t need to do this

To the earth. If you didn’t smile
In your sleep or touch my face

With tenderness, I could walk away
From you when you left through

The trap door of my hosta-lined heart
Without looking back. I wish I didn’t love

You so much. I would like my love to die
So I wouldn’t have to murder everything

Around me. So I wouldn’t have to be
The hunter I have become. But you’re

Not going to release me from your unnatural
Embrace. You pin me beside you with your

Thin arm around my neck. It doesn’t look
Strong enough to hold a small animal; but it is.

Poems from Jennifer Franklin’s manuscript, Persephone’s Ransom, have been published in Antioch Review, Boston Review, Gettysburg Review, The Nation, New England Review, Paris Review, Pequod, Southwest Review, Western Humanities Review and Salmagundi. She lives in New York City with her daughter.

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