Amelia Frank


How to grapple with this spewing 
Dialectical thought. 
Out of the airport 
We drove past concrete lilypads 
Man’s calloused hands pressed against stone 
Shoulders stung with saltwater. 
Thousands of eyes in the mangroves 
Unmoving and silently crying 
For the houses that have forced themselves 
In swamp and brack water 
Pushed suburbia into a cluttered paradise 
Mammalian skeleton of what once was 
The beer cans that have tangled themselves 
On the fins of a manatee 
White egret choked by the tides of tourists and screeching
toddlers. My mother’s mother speaks swedish 
The language’s lull fills the sulfur smelling room with stories of general stores
And Minnesotan winter 
Her cracked voice pours fresh water into our ears 
It will freeze over. 
My cousin delivered three babies today 
Souls welcomed by florida hospital heat 
Scrubs and tired smiles 
Teeth that have bitten into once beautiful land. 
My other cousin’s head clashes with the wheel in front of him
The chameleons cry in his pickup truck 
Tails wrapped around black rubber 
A rainbow frenzy of reptilia moving at seventy miles per hour.
And I sit on rock adjacent to the intercostal 
Guiding paddle boards with sharp breath 
I root my hands in the dry grass that digests my body 
Eaten by plant shards born by a storm 
In front of me a windswept wicker chair crawling with fiddler crabs.
I have run on the oily wings of roseate spoonbills 
Now I glide my bitten hands through the ocean of stars below me
Trace the constellations with a tan body, humidity’s child. 
My arms propped up by swarms of mosquitoes 
Small bodies bursting with sugary blood
Floridians taste the worst.

About the Author: Amelia Frank is a senior at the Spence School who has won three regional scholastic awards, been published in the Ellipsis, We Write Here and Georgetown's Creative Writing Magazine. She is 17 years old and from New York City. In addition to writing she enjoys debate, chess, and singing. The poems attached have drawn inspiration from her current Studies in Poetry Class.