Anne Barngrover

If that Isn’t a Sign, then God Knows What Is


How my sister moves in with a man she loves
and a cab driver offers me fried chicken

at a Pepboy’s. How the frog that wants sex
and bugs calls out like a door that wants WD-40.

How if you’re an asshole drunk you’re an
asshole. How I smell smoke and my lips ready

for a kiss. How your new girlfriend bobbles by
like a creepy starved bird. How I don’t like that girl

and I don’t like her face either. How I run away
across the street and step onto road kill. How

the dog eats all the apple but spits out the seeds.
How I put my foot through a rotting pumpkin

with a mushed yellow skull. How I put my fist
though salt water through sand scoop cone shells

and inside there are tiny crabs. How I put two
in my hand roll them close and make them

fight. How close are you now to the mountains?
How close are you to the city? Remember we spent

that night in a nice hotel. Remember we ate fried
chicken in one bed and laid down in the other.

Remember you slept in one bed and I curled up
on the bathroom floor. Someone was throwing a

party through the walls. Someone was breaking
bottles till it sounded like the ocean.

Wendy XuAnne Barngrover’s first book of poems Yell Hound Blue (Shipwreckt Books) is forthcoming in late 2013. She and poet Avni Vyas are co-authors of the chapbook Candy in Our Brains (CutBank, 2014). Anne holds an MFA from Florida State University and is currently a PhD candidate in English at University of Missouri.