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 Weekly, smithsonianmag.com, and in her own weekly newsletter on writing. Instagram: @maggiefrankhsu