Poetry Issue 15

   Issue #17 : July-December 2012

Annah Browning



Dear John

to the Reverend


      No more numb tongue,
                  warrior. No more, young

      apostle— no speaking to me
                  Sundays. I will sit

      on this chair, I will call it
                  mine. I will be this hour

      a teacher against the light,
                  folding piece after

      piece of white, papers
                  sleeping, dreaming

      of the things you put
                  on them— lover,

      it is under truly relaxing
                  stars I have chosen

      to give you up. I shake
                  extra salt over all

      my food. I eat the tidelings,
                  sinew and flesh; I take

      them as tongues into my belly
                  and we talk. You

      are not godless, so you don’t
                  understand— I have to live

      with a little bit of tide
                  in my mouth, a little bit

      of stamp and turn of heel,
                  over and over again;

      I have to make
                  a slow majesty

      out of refrain, the same
                  water slapping the same

      faults, my old face rising
                  in the mirror, most

      predictable of moons.
                  Go down, satellite.

      Go down blinking and
                  quiet and blurred.