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.