Flying Saucer, This Exit

by Matthew Gavin Frank

On the super-single, you whisper

into my ear this treatise on mosquito-


rape, faulty bloodlines, your father

and my father. Pretend our hands


are roses, you say, our names written

onto headboards, accidentally,


in the wayward embers of their

cigars. When we take attendance,


our mouths are burning with their

beards. So, we close our eyes and pray


for another alien abduction. Isn’t that

the best thing to do? We are here


or there. We want only to fly away

with Martians shaped like teaspoons,


volunteer for the experiment. They call

this biting of our clavicles, "agricultural


rehab." And so we are corn, we are corn-

snakes, and the venom in our blood jumps


against silk. Lifts off for the most cross-

shaped constellations. Our wrists ringing


against the bedposts tell themselves

they are bells, or paintings of bells.


The aliens, mercifully, smell like

vanilla. We can’t believe they too


have beards. The stars, the tickling

starlight, the waning, waning hurt,


the o-daddy, o-daddy-o. The hands

they use to hold us, the flowers


to hold us down.



Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of the nonfiction books The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America’s Food, Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer, Pot Farm, and Barolo, the poetry books, The Morrow Plots, Warranty in Zulu, and Sagittarius Agitprop, and two chapbooks. He teaches at Northern Michigan University, where he is the Nonfiction Editor of Passages North. This winter, he tempered his gin with two droplets (per 750ml) of tincture of odiferous whitefish liver. For health.