frank by Khalil Anthony

i talk to myself sometimes
and sometimes i answer myself too
i got it from my mother
who likes to do this (talk to herself)
when i am sitting right next to her, mind you
while we are literally in a conversation
speaking to each other.
she’ll blurt out something that doesn’t quite
make sense, (“green tomatoes”), and i’ll say what?
and she’ll be flippant as she responds,
“im not talking to you anthony.”
and i’m like, “oh.”

i remember the first time i heard his voice
(tinged in haitian rum, bark that felt like
strong rains, roots of a far away place. sexy
as fuck to be honest.)
so im standing in a community garden in oakland ca.
black and brown bodies like green plants–
photosynthesis reincarnate, all of us glowing
sun hot, blazing down,
i always think that the sun hitting melanin has to be
a mathematical equation, sweat raining down on
skin glistening, and exposed,
music blaring, black bodies moving,
and his voice, i remember the tone

i knew we would kiss one day without seeing
his face.

(talking to myself)
i know he is not right for me
so why you with him
im not with him, he has a girlfriend
you sure aint with him
you know what i’m saying
of course i do, im you
well listen to me,
what me is talking now, cause that other me told me to fuck him… who was that?
hmmmmmm, that was you…

i fall in love with the idea
that the boy in front of me
could possibly be the man
i want someday. i fall in love
with the idea of people
and when i fell in love with frank
i knew i liked to fall.
it’s all symbolic| the symbiosis
of my inability to just be
with a man
instead i need to make this man
what i want him to be.
i like to be in control too much.

the sex was great
i love when straight men
with girlfriends tell me
that i am their first.
it’s always a lie.
especially when frank would dance
his ass like it was a bobblehead,
those bobbleheads that you find in places
where you find bobbleheads,
just a bobble bobble bobble, his ass in the air
yeah, okay,
im your first

(there is a man kissing another man on the screen.)
my mom screams “yuck” again. i’m pissed
cause im like you can’t say yuck when two men are kissing.
she’s like, “i don’t like that guy.
that guy is not good for him.
he is a bad guy, so i said yuck!!!
you’re acting slow khalil,
men can kiss…unless it’s you who
don’t think men can kiss and you’re projecting your
disdain on me.”


i loved frank’s hands
hard like his voice, rough, black
i liked frank’s kiss.
in a mood, a feeling
i knew what he meant
when he said i was his first.
the 1st man he could love,
the 1st man he allowed himself to love.
and it wasn’t what it could be, i told myself
all the time. there i go manipulating the situation
again, i say to myself.
“yep, there you go.”


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