Back to Issue Seventeen.

ghost as housekeeper



I am always waving,
and sometimes clear.

Sometimes in the slick
at the bottom of a frying

pan, a cloud of fat.
All this evening under

the sofa I have lain
untwisting embroidery,

un-plaiting plaids. And
the brown back of it I have

faded, to strained tea,
arms polished as a tooth.

Your carelessness
is love to me—as I crease

the newspaper into
its new fallen shape,

a disrupted bird, print
rubbing until the names

are something only
I can read, just as only I

hear the water standing
in the pipes, gallons of it,

pressing—the only sign
the drips, surprisingly

articulate, a Braille
inside the wall.

I wish you could notice
the careful attention

I have given to your
bread—only the fairest

flowers, the green marvel
growing on the heel,

white and dusty.
Like marble, both light

and dark. One antique
spore, and all

can bloom—you say
you cannot eat it,

but I think mold feeds
you more—I want

to give you the silence
of its planet, its heart—

a center which
like mine, is nowhere,

yet increasing
all the time.


Annah Browning lives in Chicago, where she is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois-Chicago and an editor atGrimoire, an online literary publication for the witchy and the weird. She is the author of a chapbook, The Marriage, from Horse Less Press, and her poems have recently appeared in Verse Daily, Indiana ReviewWillow Springs, BoulevardPainted Bride Quarterly, and other journals. 

< Previous (Raena Shirali)

 Next (Stephanie Cawley) >