Poetry: "Cocktail" & "The Poet Writes a Love Letter to Herself from Her Husband" by Frances Klein


Mix English gin, red Spanish eggs, 

a finger of cold comfort. 

Apply a sharp point of pressure to the glass.

You should see heat, yellow and black.

Done right, this drink is popular

with the English and French, Germans and Italians, 

with earnest representatives of American religion.

Two fingers in, you will be perfectly

imperfect. After three you will be on vacation.

After five you will wake up and wonder 

if you shook hands with the kinder end of a gun.

*Words culled from pages 17-18 of Ann Pachett’s Bel Canto

The Poet Writes a Love Letter to Herself from Her Husband

He remembered it so clearly: 

the little shell-shaped songs she sang

hummed in his head.

She was not quick in the bathroom,

could not be rushed.

In his mind, nothing about her was

unnatural. Her hand was a troubling 

moon shade of white, her eyes rimmed 

in bloody gold. When she looked at him

he was overpowered by an image--

her bending to rinse out her mouth--

and his knees folded beneath him 

like two sweethearts

looking for a deserted stretch of beach.

She wasn’t pretty. She was a masterpiece.

Was he prepared to be happened to

by such a woman? 

*All words culled from page 34 of Ann Pachett’s Bel Canto

Frances Klein (she/her) is a poet and teacher writing at the intersection of disability and gender. She is the author of the forthcoming chapbook New and Permanent (Blanket Sea 2022). She has been published in So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Vonnegut Memorial Library and Tupelo Press, among others. Klein currently serves as assistant editor of Southern Humanities Review. Readers can find more of her work at https://kleinpoetryblog.wordpress.com/.