francine j. harris
Ablate the Suncups, not the Ice: An Incantation

                           for I. 


O god of the desublime, allay the vertical penitentes

their limbs, rest them back cold, not in precipitate
but in seed, in potential of hydrogen. Spoon in density


to be sung of their winter’s seed and soak. Sip pond

to suncups, over sunrise. Far from the flat dispatch

of heat, its stench, its wayward ever summer barge


and fallout. Jesus be a river. Be a untainted float
of deliquescent surge. Be saltless and cold.
O pose of hope, allay the waterfall, hear their prayer,


O bed of oxygen, divine surge. Be also brackish sea. Be

seed of the frost, and supercooled. Be shade soup.

Sweet hale of beloved drench and mitochondrial belly,


be flint for the watery flame. Douse out the eventual
crunch, the big scorch, the rip of our primordial anus
and mouth, suckling at the place of eco abundance. O sweet bio teet,


O hygroscopic lordess. Were we to sit still and let ourselves be cold

for hours, wiped of web crack frost, mild sud of the slow glacier,

rimed vat at the edge of rash season, our legs from twitching.


O known keep of tomorrow, might we skill our motor by, pedal
from the crib of our await. O stable evolver, an alms for safe passage,

your earthen cooling, forgive us our erosion. Heal the demanding snows. 

Found In Volume 49, No. 01
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  • francine j harris
francine j. harris
About the Author

francine j. harris is the author of play dead, winner of the Lambda Literary and Audre Lorde Awards and finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her third collection, Here is the Sweet Hand, is forthcoming on Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2020. Originally from Detroit, she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cave Canem, and MacDowell Colony. She was the 2018/2019 Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library and is Associate Professor of English at University of Houston.