Sheila-Na-Gig online


George Franklin

George Franklin is the author of 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). Look for Remote Cities from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions in winter 2022/23. Buy George’s Sheila-Na-Gig titles here!

A Dalliance of Crows

I’d never heard a crow sing before—cawing, yes, plenty of that—
Until you called me over to the big window that looks out on the garbage cans.
Two crows were perched there, large, black, glossy feathers, shadows on the window shade.
The sound was embarrassingly pure.  No dove or thrush ever did better.
I read later this was their courtship ritual, an intimate moment
We probably shouldn’t have observed.  We didn’t mean to be voyeurs,
But there we were, listening until they flew away.


In the future that doesn’t exist yet, I
Wake sluggishly on a Sunday, press
Dry lips against your shoulders and neck,
Wrap my leg over yours and, still half dreaming,
Let my hand drift across your breasts, down
To the sheets twisted by gyrations
Of love and sleep.  Morning light
Evades the shutters, reveals the wall
By the closet, the Chinese calligraphy
Framed above the desk—the one a monk gave me
Forty years ago–and the chair where your robe
Waits, folded, patient, nearly as smooth
As your skin beneath my hand.
In the future that doesn’t exist yet, we
Will eventually be missing.  I don’t remember
What the calligraphy meant.  I think it had
Something to do with emptiness and form,
How even when we’re here, like this,
It’s not for long.  But we don’t need
Calligraphy to tell us that.  We hold each other
For a while and then make coffee.

%d bloggers like this: