Opal Literary: Discuss your journey to becoming a writer, including any tips for those considering it as a
Emily Franklin: I started writing at a very young age, publishing my first poem in high school. When I arrived at Sarah Lawrence College, I worked with Tom Lux who helped guide me in my college years. I
always thought I would become a poet – after I graduated, I started at Columbia for my MFA.
However, right before classes started, I felt that I needed to
Don’t ever mistake me again.
My smile is not an invitation
for baseless declarations.
It is the black silk slip
my mama made me wear,
under my dress for church,
so no one could see through to
It’s the stockings over my chicken pox scars
and playground war wounds.
My tiny purse carrying nothing
but candy wrappers, a note pad, and crayons.
When I got grown, it became red paint on coffin nails.
My smile is merely a clever covering
I have utilized
My eyes follow the green glow of his kitchen walls as I lay on the floor, The smell of his compost And our dying bouquets leaking Into my nostrils Like cigarette smoke hiding Behind a set of teeth. I think I feel my body being lifted, Floating up I make eye contact With the drying candle wax on his dining table. But, as I look down, my hands are still Flat on the cold tile. I don’t feel its touch. It is all air. (I can sense when he enters a room Without needing to turn m