Franny Choi


Franny Choi is the author of several books, including, Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019), Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014), and a chapbook, Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She was a 2019 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow and has also received awards from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and Princeton University’s Lewis Center. Her poems have appeared in the New York Times, the Nation, the Atlantic, Paris Review, and elsewhere. She co-hosts the Poetry Foundation’s podcast VS (it’s pronounced “verses”—get it?) alongside Danez Smith and is currently an Arthur Levitt, Jr. Artist-in-Residence at Williams College. Source

Real Talk

my lover: What's wrong?


me: My family tree is a wreath on a fishing line.


my lover: Are you okay?


me: There's a tree trunk stuck in my throat. Roots disguising themselves as blood vessels, and all that. I'm all sap.


my lover: Can you say that again?


me: I drank too much sun. The stars are making a bell tower of my stomach. I think one got caught on its way down. It flares up when there's a storm coming.


my lover: Do you want to go home?


me: For four years, I flew across the ocean every night to press my mouth against a florid reef, a rotting hoof.


my lover: Are you tired?


me: Seven wars, and you're still calling me in for supper, afraid of what the playground will do to my knees. What do you take my apron for? Can't you see I'm a butcher's daughter?


my lover: Do you want to talk about it?


me: Not everything floats. I am trying to learn which parts of me to let sink.


my lover: Do you want me to apologize?


me: The last time it stormed, I sent my love letters up on a kite string, hung all my keys to the tail. The lightning hit the persimmon tree outside my parents' house instead. They used the wood to build a bed no one sleeps in.


my lover: What do you want?


me: I don't remember the last time I saw him, only that we rode the train together to Boston, and on the ride home, I knew I was supposed to cry.


my lover: Why didn't you say so?

me: There is no such thing as grace; only silence.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:





Intersectionality & Culture

Violence & War

Literary Devices:


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie


exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”