Francine Witte

Selfie at the end of the world

Like everything else, the apocalypse
will be photographed. Duckface crumble

of skyscrapers, or the twisty scowl of the ground
giving way. Sudden, but not surprising.

You’ll remember the temperature rising
and the earth pulling off its sweater

of foliage and ice. How it all seemed
so distant, but now shows up to photobomb

that last TV reporter, humanity trampling
itself in the background. No selfie stick

long enough to fit seven billion,
so instead, you gather a bouquet

of faces around you, strike a pose and shoot.

This poem was third place winner in The Crab Creek Review contest and was published there and subsequently in Cafe Crazy.


In My Poems, Sometimes I Have Children

Daughters mostly, because I know
their routines. Flatirons and tampons.
To invent boys, I would need to ask
questions, learn to talk sports.
In my poems, sometimes,
my children appreciate
me. Pretend daughter Fiona,
says things like Mom, if it weren’t
for you, I’d be living in an essay
for crying out loud. She’s right.
If I were a made up child, I
would prefer the crinoline
swish of a simile, so much kinder
than the hard angles of non-fiction.
A pretend son wouldn’t be so generous.
He would say he’s a lie I tell
myself to feel better about what
I haven’t done. I would laugh at him.
Pretend mothers can do that.
Then I would sit him down
and tell him my poems aren’t lies at all.
They’re just the truths that didn’t happen.

This poem was second place winner in the Paterson Literary Review Contest and was published there, also in my chapbook, Not All Fires Burn the Same and in Cafe Crazy.


Francine Witte is the author of four poetry chapbooks and two flash fiction chapbooks. Her full-length poetry collection, Café Crazy, has recently been published by Kelsay Books. She is a reviewer, blogger, and photographer. She is a former English teacher. She lives in NYC.