Anne Leigh Parrish


touched by rain

the eggplant says you once held her,
then gave her the blade 

the garden cries for the cigarette butts
in her poisoned soil 

you lied about smoking
you lied about everything 

the shadows you cast are
deep enough to dim a desert sun 

yet scent rides the air
first flowers touched by rain 

their kisses tell me
you’re in them, too


today, june 24, 2022

today, when the patriarchs turn women into livestock
here you are, radio on high, giving forth 

your nose ring catches the light,
your shaved head says don’t touch 

crank up the volume
that’s rockin’ music you’ve got there 

you won’t hide underground, lie in your own blood, die
not today—
today you sing for all you’re worth



i love you because you love me
no better reason
golden magnet
sweet wine
honeyed words
so easily sung 

this is what we’re born to
seek/hunger for/claim 

like rage, love lands
just like fear 

& it’s fear we answer as we
weigh love’s worth,
ponder the cold cell
our hearts become
should we shun it, make excuses,
run off into that long,
predictable, uneasy
quiet called loneliness



she was a hoosier
from the latin quarter
went by velma, then angelique
pinned up her hair
bought a patent leather belt (red)
squeezed her swollen feet
into patent leather heels (also red) 

it’s okay to reinvent yourself
especially when the first
version’s not so great 

but sooner or later, the hair comes down,
the belt & shoes slip off
(thank god, they hurt like hell) 

but that little make-believe
leaves a touch of joy in the eye 

just knowing you can,
for a little while,
glide through the world
as someone else 



how things end

everything has a center
everything, a lost edge 

it feels like we’re about to disappear

so, we cling to that center,
to what we think we know 

never realizing that
how things end might
matter more than
how they begin 


Anne Leigh Parrish’s next novel, an open door, will be published in October 2022 by Unsolicited Press. Recent titles from Unsolicited Press are the moon won’t be dared, a poetry collection, October 2021, and a winter night, a novel, released in March 2021. She is the author of eight other books. She has recently ventured into the art of photography and lives in the South Sound Region of Washington State. Find her online at her website, Twitter, Facebook, Medium, Instagram, Linked In, and Goodreads.