Back to Issue Two.




for Cindy Sumner 


If this was a movie, 
we would control 
the weather with our emotions. Gray 

clouds would have 
poured ashy snow 
the day your body was finally found. 

Instead, summer’s stink 
tore through the haze 
covering the downtown streets. Our 

beautiful brown river 
sat calm next to your 
neighborhood like a bridge we haven’t 

learned to cross; 
I drifted in sweat 
while tracking rats outside your mother’s 

public housing complex, 
searching for the right hole 
for the poison and dreaming of the lollipop 

in your missing persons 
flyer. The cops pulled up, 
rang the doorbell and hollered your mother’s 

name with the same 
voice I’ve heard them 
use during drug busts. The news crews must 

have gotten lost on 
the one-way streets 
or they would have caught her waving 

to me as she came out, 
fanning the sweat 
on her face with her hands, curling 

her fingers through 
her thin blond hair. 
Those cops, who hardly looked for you, 

who called you 
a run-away, they 
should have passed out in the heat, in 

their clean blue 
uniforms, their eyes 
hidden beneath their shining sunglasses. 

We could have 
stopped watching 
from our couches, we could have loved 

your mother’s 
sun-burnt face, 
the triple moon pendant hanging 

from her neck. 
The way she asked 
about my wife every month when I 

came to fight off 
the rats. The way 
she held her head, her weak chin and 

bandaged glasses. 
All her young dreams 
fighting for space within her green eyes.



Anthony Frame is an exterminator who lives in Toledo, OH with his wife and their spoiled cat. His poems have been published in or are forthcoming from Third Coast, Versal, Mobius, Connecticut River Review and New Plains Review, among others. His first chapbook, Paper Guillotines, was recently released by Imaginary Friend Press. He is also co-editor of the online journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry. You can find out more at