Christopher Franke
Christopher Franke outside Cleveland’s Brandt Gallery on 12 July 2008
[photo by Jesus Crisis]


If men were
more like women,
could women be
more like men?

What mothering man
might woman father?
Or nurturing
father mother?

If men had babies!
a spouse might
what lack take?
Call love, “Fluid.”

Like where it leaked
plugging a dike,
could lesbian man
make woman gay?

If women had
commas, would me
have periods?
If men had head-

aches, would women
have erections?
Where women warred,
be men there whored?

Were a woman
a jock, would she
then mount a man?
& ride ’till dawn?

Sweeter seduced
than taken rough.
For better work,
give equal pay.

And so what leave
has any fig,
love’s sweetness grants;
love’s daze may care.

* * * * *

Poem originally apeared in frankeana/miscellangy,  a collection of works by Christopher Franke & Jim Lang

Reproduced here with the author’s permission

For a video of Chris Franke’s featured reading during the Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour in August 2008, visit

Cleveland poet Christopher Franke is founder of Deciduous Press and author of collections including (but not limited to) Paren’s Thesis, frankeana/miscellangy, Routines, and =5

For more Franke poetry see the
Cleveland Poetry Archive, ArtCrimes, The City Poetry 5, and