George Franklin



In October, each sunburnt blue sky
Worries us. The high pressure before
A hurricane looks like this, a wind
Out of the east or south, dust carried
All the way from the Sahara on
Heat-driven currents, rows of broken
White clouds pushed toward this distant side of
The world. I think how much dust I’ve breathed
In sixty-five years, how the Gobi,
The Kalahari, even the ten
Deserts of Australia, have all swirled
In my lungs, mixed with auto exhaust,
With the dry air conditioning of
Hospitals and office buildings, damp
Mists of Venetian canals before
Sunrise, the marshes on the North Shore
Of Massachusetts, the smoke from fires
In the Everglades—I don’t have to
Travel anywhere to see what floats
In my blood. In India, they pour
Oil on a corpse, light it, and watch as
The ash drifts up into the sky. In
Miami, I take a quiet breath.

GEORGE FRANKLIN is the author of two poetry collections: Traveling for No Good Reason (winner of the Sheila-Na-Gig Editions competition in 2018) and a bilingual collection, Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas, translated by Ximena Gómez (Katakana Editores), as well as a recent broadside, “Shreveport,” published by Broadsided Press. Individual poems have been published in various journals, including Twyckenham Notes. He practices law in Miami and teaches poetry workshops in Florida state prisons.