Fresh: Taking My Name Back by Francine Hendrickson

Taking My Name Back

Francine is always in bed. Francine might as well be a bed. Francine is lugging around all this cotton, spewing fluffy white shit on everybody when Francine really wants to just be sleeping. Ripping out people’s eyeballs to stuff Francine’s pillows with. Francine is not here to be pretty, or pleasant. Francine is not some field of daises, Francine is not even rain water. Francine is some spit in the sink after a fist fight. Francine is dragging Francine’s dead weight body around, looking for a tree to climb to turn Francine into a deep purple sail that is only mistaken for gold. But Francine doesn’t want you to know that, Francine can’t even say Francine’s own god damn name because Francine’s name sounds like a sheet of solidifying tar, feels like something to get stuck on or under, feels like if Francine gives Francine’s name to some one else’s mouth they are liable to spit on Francine with it, and here Francine is writing a poem where every other word is the word Francine. But that just goes to show you, the one thing Francine stands on like a tiny planet where Francine controls all the gravity, the one thing Francine knows Francine can count on and the one thing Francine loves and would do anything for..
Francine is a nasty jellyfish glistening in the sun with a pen in Francine’s hand, waiting for something to come by that Francine won’t sting.

Francine Kaye Hendrickson is from the East End of Long Island and Asheville, NC. She received her BA in Creative Writing from Purchase College. Francine got her start in the 2009 Teen Ink Summer Program at Julliard. Since then, her work has been featured on platforms such as The Apollo Theater, Barclays Center, and the Gotham Series of Young Writers. She is a recent recipient of the Gilman Scholarship and a semi-finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry.

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