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Acrylic and ink on wood panel

Jen Frantz

after Mary Ruefle


Let’s go to church, I said.

My lover didn’t want to go

to church. It smells like

a hospice in there, he said.

So we walked together in

the direction of the train

tracks, where the old

graveyard sat. The snow

was leaking into my boots,

making my socks wet.

My lover was wearing

a turtleneck made from

real wool, and I was

wearing a huge, heavy

locket. I want to have

sex, I said, and I laid

down in the snow,

like a pin-up girl with

my head propped up.

In the snow? he asked.

I was taking off my gloves,

pulling them with my teeth.

In the snow, I said.

I saw a single bird flying

above me, high up,

watching for something

to die, and I felt my locket

with my bare fingers,

the little bit of ash

that was inside.

Jen Frantz is a college dropout from Ohio. Her poems have been published in Fence, Denver Quarterly, and Washington Square Review, among others. She attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was poetry editor of the Iowa Review.

Artwork: “Sometime Soon” by Rachel Wold

Acrylic and ink on wood panel

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