George Franklin is the author of a new full-length collection, Noise of the World (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), Traveling for No Good Reason (winner of the Sheila-Na-Gig Editions competition in 2018), a dual-language collection, Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas (Katakana Editores), and a chapbook, Travels of the Angel of Sorrow (Blue Cedar Press). He practices law in Miami and is the co-translator, along with the author, of Ximena Gómez’s Último día/Last Day (Katakana Editores). Buy George’s books here!
Not long after I broke up with Wendy and was learning the rules of divorce, the transfer of kids for Wednesday night dinner or for weekend stays, the court hearings where her lawyer proclaimed this the worst case of hidden assets he’d seen in 20 years and I realized he was talking about me—not long after that, I would cook stewed fruit for Toby and Hadley when they’d stay over. Star Market, which was just down the street, had a bin with big plastic bags full of bruised or overripe fruit: yellow and black bananas, oranges no one wanted, mealy pears, and apples with birthmarks, maybe from bouncing across the linoleum floor. For 50 cents or a dollar, you could get 5lbs or more of these, delicious when cooked quickly over high heat, the bananas first, at the bottom, to make the liquid to cook the rest. The easy way would have been to turn the heat to low and cover them, but that way they curdle. It’s better to stand there and stir, blowing on the wooden spoon to taste how sweet they become. In all the depositions, interviews, mediations, and testimony, I don’t think anyone ever asked about the stewed fruit I made those mornings for breakfast.
The hive was behind the fascia, just below the roof on the west side of the house. Bees kept finding their way inside, flying toward the kitchen lights or the sliding-glass door behind the living room. For months, I tried to help them get out, thirty or more a day. I listened for their buzzing, bumping against the glass and would move quickly with an envelope to scoop them up and outside when I opened the door. The concept of glass was beyond them, but the bees could see sun and foliage. Later, I realized this wasn’t going to stop anytime soon, and I started calling around. If the hive had been attached to a tree or under the overhang of the roof, they could have been moved somewhere else, sent to a bee farm, somewhere with acres of crops to pollinate. The man who came out cut a rectangle in the fascia, then poisoned them and brought the honeycomb out in pieces. He showed it to me, all broken up on a blue tarp. I have a picture on my phone.