Wednesday Feb 08

Barngrover-Poetry Anne Barngrover’s poems have appeared in such journals as Indiana Review, Witness, and Smartish Pace, among others. Her chapbook Candy in Our Brains, co-written with Avni Vyas, will be forthcoming from CutBank Press in winter 2014. She is currently a PhD candidate in Poetry at University of Missouri.

Science of Uncertainty

As the season browns
like an apple I watch
the spider lace her web
            paler than smoke
in my porch corner.
            Against the inside-
outside world she waits
            for what catches
in light. They come
            to her and stay—
thistle, fly, mosquito,
cottonwood seed,
black thread, hangnail,
            littlest measuring
spoon, a knot
            of golden hair.
Against the wool-heat
            of the season I wait
for the man who kept
            on the lantern
who left small stars
            on my collarbone
and traced my hips
            with his tongue.
When he asked where
            I learned to kiss
that way, how could I say
            it was to keep
another man from leaving?
            Each flick
was a cry of desperation,
            each cry a measure
clung to rancid air.
How could I say
that he left anyway,
            found another girl
and married her?
            I learned nothing
is sweet enough to keep
from casting aside.


The Waiting Girl Sobers Up in the Same Room as Before
Another one with your spell in my blood.
Another one with you leaving. After the flood.
After the song. Another one with dry wine

at my table. Your dark smell lingers, heavy
            as walls. A pear rots in the carpet. Moths fuzz
                        the chandelier. After the red tide.
After the chorus line. A doorknob chunks
            inside my skull. My nails stiffen with clay.
                        After the conjuring. After the over-
share. Another one with everyone in khakis
            squinting through the windows, murmuring
why are you so alone? Another one
where I like that. Sunset flushes seeded glass,
pink as citrus. After the hangover. After
the nicotine stains. Another one where

I show too much thigh. What else could I do
but clear my throat of smoke, tap my wrists
with oil, and arrange my face

like a plate of odd salads? All night, the long shadows.
Another one where the ceiling caves in.
Another one with rain in my hair.