The Unpredicted

In the brown-walled den,

fingers on the pale triangle,

we asked our questions.


The answers were never clear,

but sometimes the spirits spoke:


rattle of windowpanes,

flicker of a street lamp,

a hushed, certain tap.


We held our breaths for initials

of ethereal husbands.


Now I lie with a warm possibility,

Ouija pronouncements hovering

in the future they skated to,

and I start to remember them all—

It's strange what love levitates.


In felt-footed dark, my unpredicted

spells out a past the board didn't know:


First love with The Farm Girl,

soft hulk of regret; fish that ate

each other one afternoon in the tank.


I conjure the tabby cat, dead

of kidney failure while I sang

in the children’s choir, his meow

hazy as the tenor line.


And then it materializes

in the feline glow of midnight—


The glint in his yellow-brown eyes

as he pawed the blue house

to the peak of the roof.






Anne Butler, a Virginia native, is currently an Los Angeles-based actor/singer who fell in love with poetry many years ago, while studying theater in San Francisco. On the corner of Bush Street and Grant Avenue, to the tune of lone a street saxophonist, she picked up The Words Under the Words by Naomi Shihab Nye and read every word. Now, in addition to reading, she writes! When she is not on stage or agonizing in front of a computer screen, she enjoys long walks, tea lattes, and the more-than-occasional X-Files re-run.