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Frank - James Edlund

Three backyards away
lives Frank.

Eight years old

Likes to ride his dirtbike
and piss in the neighbor's
garden when they
aren't looking.

Wipes his nose with his arm
and refuses to wear band-aids.

With a pocket full of nickels
and sunflower seeds
he goes to little league
every day of the summer
gets in trouble with the
school teacher, coach
who yells at him for cussing

Brings along his portable radio
on the long bus rides to other
towns to wage baseball combat
plays nothing but opera
and skips the games most of the time
to buy bubble gum cigars at
bait shops
sit in barbershops
to get a look at all the
scissors, razors and weird, old men.

Talks with the assurance of a
gigolo to grandfathers and city council men
making up strange stories of his family:
how his sister's a weight lifter and married to a Ferris wheel operator,
and how his older brother got kicked out of the Merchant Marines because
he couldn't swim.

The last day he played little league
he put lipstick on and
wore his mother's panties
and pink tap dancing shoes

The third baseman busted his radio
with a wooden baseball bat

The rest of the team
took turns
pissing all over
his opera.