Poetry: Frankie by Joe Haward


The yellow river of bile stung her throat.
Distended stomach
Sarcastic in mirrored mime
Laughing at the futility.
She strains her body
Every sinew searching the extremities
Ballet master vomiting obscenities
Teetering on the pointe of darkness.
Hidden meetings
Secrets shared.
“Name it,” the psychologist urges.
“Frankie.” His name panacea and poison.
“Fat,” Frankie murmurs, his voice excoriating
Chuckling with glee
“Fuck off, Frankie,” she whispers
Fabricated indomitability.
The stage is set
The chasm of perfection devouring
Craving the crowd to feast upon her
Id’s compulsion overwhelming.
Fevered rest
Ritual prohibition
A splash on bathroom’s altar
“Well done,” Frankie purrs.

Joe Haward is the author of two nonfiction books that explore the intersection between humanity, faith, film, and culture. As a horror writer, poet, freelance journalist, and book reviewer, his work has appeared, and is upcoming across multiple sites, in various anthologies and publications, including Byline Times, Cinnabar Moth Publishing, Ghost Orchid Press, Horror Oasis, Cosmic Horror Monthly, and Outcast Press