After Reading the Farmer’s Almanac 

I have never learned a damn thing in my whole life. 

I have never learned a damn 
thing in my whole life. 

Standing under the porch light, 
squinting for the stars. I always

plant too late, carry too much water, 
give too much care. I harvest under

the goat stars and wonder why 
I suffer. No one changes. Last

gourds left will always rot, 
turning out smiles nobody 

carved. Like them I’ve gone 
leather, softened into seed 

pulp. At least when you spill
your guts, they shine. The moon 

reflects summers on
the other side of the world. 

Sweetie pie, won’t you 
come over for once? The backroads 

unfurl like rasping silver tongues, 
the dying cat who pissed on 

your old girl’s lap. I have been 
such an animal— releasing 

everything at the end to show 
my little white teeth, a last

sigh into black fur 
before someone hits the lights. 

ANNAH BROWNING is the author of the poetry collection Witch Doctrine (University of Akron Press, 2020) and the chapbook The Marriage (Horse Less Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, Willow Springs, and elsewhere. She is co-editor of Grimoire Magazine and a Professor of English at Blackburn College.

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