Domestic Failings



Domestic Failings      



Do not envy the pancake turner

its plain shape, undistorted by heat,


or the slotted spoon

its talent for distillation.


Accept your plates,

their generous, blank-slate faces,


and the fact you'll never match

your Tupperware's discretion.


The pizza wheel effortlessly divvies.

Learn its clean lines, its appetite for separation.


Note the trash compactor's concision,

the iron's easy way with the agitated


knowing you can't compare

to even the kitchen chair—


its stolid, dependable shape,

its immutable spine.




Francesca Bell’s poems have appeared in many journals, including B O D Y Literature, New Ohio Review, North American Review, PANK, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, River Styx, and Zone 3. Her work has been nominated eight times for the Pushcart Prize, and she won the 2014 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle. Her translations from Arabic, with Noor Nader Al Abed, appear in Berkeley Poetry Review, Circumference, and Laghoo. The manuscript for her first book has been a semi-finalist for the Brittingham Prize and the Philip Levine Prize, and a finalist for the Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson Award, the May Swenson Prize, and Carnegie Mellon’s open submission period. 


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