Rigorous
Volume Three, Issue 4



Adrian V. Francis


Trance

I recall bedtime stories that kept me up at night
Retracing previous tales of mystery through my mind

I’m trapped, isolated, motionless, wide-eyed
Gullible to any
actions, that might
pass for tactless antics

Perched on a branch of hope,
viewing the despair below me

Unaware of the rotting of my home
Hope breeds manipulation.

I/am malleable

I/am not built for fortitude

I crumble at the sound of truth
I wish it a lie
I pray it null
I will it void
I can do nothing.




Highway to Sundays

pink shorts and sunshine in the bottom of my peripheral vision
going 50 mph in a school zone,

school’s not in yet, so the lights aren’t flashing
Mom sighs and says “i need to sleep,” like she hadn’t been a few hours previous

Sunday mornings always seem hectically peaceful
as if something is always supposed to happen but never does

i think people die in their sleep mostly on Sundays mornings
well, that’s not a scientific statistic, just my own personal opinion

South Florida doesn’t have hills
but Sunrise Blvd. sometimes allows you to see the sunrise

merge into other lanes until everyone’s in line,
uniformity at its most natural state, like the ants

we’re heading North, only for a while though,
other people are heading North as well

we have no idea where they’re going, and we can’t stop to ask them

Mom gasps, there’s a shred of a tire in the middle of the freeway
she made me think we were going to die on this Sunday morning

not in our sleep




Fulcrum

lay it all before me
i’ll build my thoughts last
my speech may not be stable
but my visage sharp and stout

i look out into all their eyes
i see deeper than their chakras

sparring with honesty
praying that it’s inclusive

distance is the greatest villain to trust
hanging on by an idea of what it should be
cutting the corners of grief, only leads to scars

heal properly



Adrian V. Francis: "I am a second-year undergraduate student at Florida State University, triple majoring in Creative Writing, Editing Writing and Media, and African-American Studies. Writing has been a part of my life since I was born, and now I channel my passions to influence a large audience. Impacting and creating a difference in the way people think and view things is my main focus and I believe it is the focal point in my purpose."




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