Frankie Hucklenbroich


I have been asleep, not restfully,
a small brown bear—hibernating.
Tricked into an untimed winter.
Fat and furred, I lay me down with you.
Now, the mirror of your eyes
shows me your lean and mangy season. I am hungry.
Hungry. You have left no scrap of meat,
no stiffening honeycomb to suck; not even
a few pale slugs hidden beneath these worn stones.
I need a mouthful of water to green the day. There is
no brook here. (I seem to remember one,
but—long ago, and want can be deceptive.)
I stretch and shake myself and turn from you,
to blink at the unaccustomed brightness of the sun
lighting the opening of this cave. In a moment,
I shall totter stiffly through the rainbow door,
not looking back. Even my thoughts
will never return here.

To the Women

I love women—and love or a woman can be
gold tossed upon a pillow. Woman is my
necessary gold. Women’s bodies are dusted
with love and gold. I want to hear women’s
voices; the sound of smoke rubbing velvet.
Give me a woman’s hair for my fine, thick
blanket in the night. Breasts soft as
eider-down beneath the head; arms gripping
stronger than a drug. Women taste of melted
honey moving sweet within the comb. Woman
to woman, I tell you—Women are the beginning
and the end of love, and love is more than all.

Frankie Hucklenbroich (1939-2009) (according to Lillian Faderman in her book, Chloe Plus Olivia) "dropped out of high school in 1956 and sold magazines door to door around the United States. The following year she came out into the working-class-bar culture as a butch. She has been an office worker, a janitor, a madam in a house of prostitution, a housebreaker, and a jail inmate. In the 1970s Hucklenbroich passed a high school equivalency exam and was admitted to college, from which she graduated cum laude after two years. She became a lesbian-feminist at that time and her poetry was published in numerous lesbian-feminist journals and anthologies. In the climate of the 1980s she reclaimed her butch identity." She is the author of A Crystal Diary: A Novel (Firebrand Books, 1997).