Francine Witte

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Wrong Facts About Animals

Elephants have forgotten more than you will ever know.
A giraffe can kill you by swinging its neck at you like a baseball bat.
A baby panda isn’t black and white. In certain light, it’s blue and pink.
A chimpanzee can’t see till it’s three years old.
Man humans gathered at a bar look nothing like lions by a watering hole.
A woman human will rouge up her cheeks to hide their hollows in an effort to seem less hungry.
Bees spell out the alphabet before they pollinate flowers.
Sometime the letters spell out words.
Sometime the words spell out help.

Dusk Booming

That day, unlike other dusks. Yes, it was shouting, another day passes. Go home. Take your knife and shave off the leftovers. It is December, you are bound to think of Christmas things or New Year’s things. There is, underneath these wreathy noisemaker thoughts, the slightest layer of grief for another year burned candle-like, its lavendersmoke filling up your nose, your eyes. Because already forming in the throat. I didn’t do this because, I didn’t do that because. Meanwhile the road you didn’t take is a big one. Untouched, your footprints will fill another day. That’s the idea. The idea already going lavendersmoke.


Francine Witte’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, and Passages North. Her latest books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press), The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fiction), and The Theory of Flesh (Kelsay Books). Her chapbook, The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon (flash fiction) will be published by ELJ September, 2021. She is the flash fiction editor for Flash Boulevard and The South Florida Poetry Journal. She lives in NYC.