Annah Browning lives in Chicago, where she recently graduated with her Ph.D. from the Program for Writers at the University at Illinois-Chicago and is poetry editor of Grimoire Magazine. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Midwestern Gothic, Black Warrior Review, and Southern Indiana Review.

Also by Annah Browning: Two Poems Two Poems Encounter

Annah Browning

Two Poems

Medium after Producing the Ectoplasm

I pat the ectoplasm on the table and watch it dry. Wax and cheese- cloth, the intestine of a sheep, yellow-white frilly loveliness. If this is a metaphor, it is for the oldest aproned frocks, for when I was a girl who still believed I would blossom, turn into my mother: classically disinterested, diaphanous as candles. Still, I have not died. If I pull this substance from my thighs, the widows think I have been somewhere, and gasp, and the knocks in the walls sound like rabbit ghosts — the pounding of what wants to remain invisible. Rain like — the running patter of rats above my head when I'm sleeping, the trickle sound their teeth gnawing the headboards. And I remember feeling the velvet of another woman's skin when I was helping her into a bath before she was married, and when my hand dropped like a pebble in the water, it was slick white and useless, much as a soul is.

A Shadow Left My Party

A Shadow left my party and started climbing stairs — did not stop at any landing, stepped quietly, laid itself down at the foot of my bed like a pair of stockings, and it waits for me with a serious kind of closeness like when someone leans into your ear to whisper of some senior so-and-so's misfortune, a blood vessel's backfire, reminding me of the brains in all our skulls, wet and silent like the walnuts outside my window in the rain. The distortion of the glass, catching my face just there — shaded, disappointed, eyebrows smudging together like a horizon line, hillside waiting for the snow.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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