Maggie Frank-Hsu

On Never Having Had a Suicidal Thought

That’s one nicotine-stained lampshade on a side table
surrounded by ceramic curios
that quiver when you yell

not quite touching
one goldenrod velour sofa
over which you hung a massive swap meet canvas:

A bull in silhouette on a scarlet background
head bowed, bouquet of lances wilting from its neck.
The matching picador you hung over the loveseat.


I was too young to know
what I was looking at;
maybe I had clues.

Two Rorschach tests:

the picador pretends
the fight’s not fixed

the bull, bowed, bleeding, blinking,
breathing every breath
not skipping even one
until its last.

Maggie Frank-Hsu is a San Diego-based writer and editor who self-published her first book, Be About Something, in 2020. Her writing has also appeared in Publishers, and in her own weekly newsletter on writing. Instagram: @maggiefrankhsu

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