Finding a Scratch off Lottery Ticket in a Used Copy of Frank Stanford’s Selected Poems

by ARIEL FRANCISCO

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe an unintentional gift from

the seller, forgotten as a bookmark,

saved to page 49: Living with Death.

Maybe a prank from Frank, sent

from the watery moonscape of his

Otherside. Win up to $250,000 shrieks

the purple ticket as my quarter slides

across its surface revealing lose

after lose, its worthlessness become

whole before I can even finish

fantasizing about what I’d do with

all that money. The dead are unlucky—

sure— but, speaking for the living,

we aren’t doing much better either.