an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


Francine Witte


I mean the time you planted roses
in my heart. That was when love
looked exactly like you, unlike when
I was 8 and love looked like Hershey’s
kisses or the latest Archie comic book.
Or later, when I was 16, and love looked
like David Cassidy, sash of teeth and floppy
hair on the cover of Tiger Beat. When love
looked like you I was amazed at what
a magician love could be, presto himself
into those roses that bloomed and withered
and ended up in a memory book. When
I was young, I tried to feather myself
into lint, flimsy and blowaway. Something
that could only live in the back of a closet.
I prayed that love was a lazy housekeeper
and wouldn’t find me, that he couldn’t pull
me out into the center of the room, lay me
flat on a table, flip out the tails of his magician
suit and proceed, once again, to saw me in half.

FRANCINE WITTE is the author of ten books of poetry and flash fiction. Her flash fiction collection RADIO WATER is forthcoming from Roadside Press in January 2024. Her poetry collection is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press in summer, 2024. She is flash fiction editor of FLASH BOULEVARD and South Florida Poetry Journal.