Two Poems by Franny Choi

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

Ode to My Vibrator

magic bullet. buzz/kill
coin-op lover’s needly plead.
steel vibrato. dryspell/caster.
clitoral cheat code when
fleshfingers tire of my failed
tulip’s mess & mess.
tiny steel tycoon. metal
mouseheart. incoming
call: please hold.
swarmsong in the sheets
under sticky sweat &pulse/
pulp/ dependable chord
steady pharynx x x
redacting human error.
slow piston. press: little fury
in motion. frantic focus.
close my eyes/ thigh tense:
present. think: jawcrack
think: it’s my own lightning
driving the engine.
it’s a closed circuit.
buzzing finger on budding
sex/ worker bee/ building
a cyborg hivemind an
overstimulus cycle
fembot feedback loop
telling this fleshmachine
its own origin story again
&again &again



Really I should be nice to the white people
who smile at me on the street, who let me
into their magazines & schools,
who lend me their children to teach.

I should smile back to the man who calls me
beautiful. It is a more polite word than boner
though less accurate. We all make sacrifices
to keep company around. So when

the white woman bows, I should at least
appreciate the effort, instead of letting the taste
turn in my mouth, sour yogurt,
milk & lemon in the same tea.

& when the skinheads & suits swarm
to call my mouth too sharp, too stickshift,
too shriek & siren & sideways, I should
welcome the feedback, speak in full sentences,

let the spit pool in my cheek until it’s a warm bath
to soothe all the good people I’ve accused
of letting their hands do the work of the slavers
& thieves we descend from. I should curdle,

curl, cradle them & tell them they deserve
all their spoils. That they owe the world nothing
but conquest. That I am sorry for making them
uncomfortable. Sorry, that is, for being

such disobedient furniture. I should apologize
for taking up as much space as a man, today.
For laughing too loudly. For walking as if
I want to live. For naming myself

something more than timesheet & meat.
For wearing daggers to the party. For wearing
my only, ugly face. For singing. For cooking
myself a hot meal. For eating every bite.

Photo of Franny Choi

Photo of Franny Choi

Franny Choi is a queer, Korean-American pottymouth. She has received awards from the Poetry Foundation and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Her work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, Southern Indiana Review, The Rumpus, The Abolitionist and other publications. She is a Project VOICE teaching artist, a member of the Dark Noise Collective and the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014).