[10.5 ToC]



Annah Browning

Little white prisoner,
      my saint. You sit

at my kitchen table,
      you wheeze. You stir

up all the flour with
      your hand—come on,

it can’t all look like you.
      Was it the sun

that burnt your hair so dark?
      I want to love you.

You turn green when
      I place you in the bowl.

I say, swim, little dog.
      The tide is coming, fast.



You’re dying. You won’t
      even stop to blink.

Stop talking so cruel
      to me, you say,

and when you speak
      I see your teeth

are made of cherries.
      You will not be

any happier.



I make the bread. You are

curled in the bowl
      like a loaf. You

do not have any eyes—
      I neglected to put

them in. Two fingernail
      indentions, yes,

there they are. Now I can
      see you, and you

can see me. You are changing.
      You are browner

and browner. You start
      to burn.