Backstroke’s for Carolina where your old man broke bloodlines with shaking toe-- Carolina where his daddy drowned sense, ruled home with knuckles and gun, who made him practice kissing with a cooling barrel, whom your dad escaped in jungles with Army knife and rebel smoke. Gramps with his whiskied noose swings in a chromosome. When alcohol lurks in a room, you close your throat for Gramps is in a cell somewhere, always thirsty.
Jordan E. Franklin is a poet from Brooklyn, NY. An alumna of Brooklyn College, she recently earned her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton. Her work has appeared in the Southampton Review, Suffragette City Zine, Breadcrumbs, easy paradise, the Ekphrastic Review, and elsewhere. In 2017, her work “Black Boy” was selected by Major Jackson as the winning poem of the James Hearst Poetry Prize hosted by the North American Review.