Annie Harper


Between my good intentions
I find little sustenance. Some days
I don’t think I’ll go to work—

junkies gonna keep junking
and getting clean. The others,
maybe they’ll show up. I go

like I’m supposed to. On time.

Between my swing and grave shifts,
I take naps.

One Tuesday
I cancel 2pm Relapse Prevention.
There is more money in taking your clothes off.

Morals matter little
when I pose naked
I am hungry.

I accept a free sausage in a parking lot,
shake mustard and ketchup all over it.
Some marketer or other knows I need to eat.

My first taste of meat
in three years.


Annie Harper is currently completing her MFA in poetry at Oregon State University. Her poems have previously appeared in touchstones magazine and Enormous Rooms. She is from Salt Lake City, Utah.

“I’ve never had a porch of my own, but I know that I want one. I imagine myself on a wraparound porch in a long skirt or wide brimmed hat. By then I will have earned my chin whiskers and pipe. I smoke and talk to the man who has driven for a long time to arrive at my porch. A fussy puppy (or maybe someone’s small dirty child) comes in and out of the screen door with a toy in its mouth.”