Granny’s Guide to the Galaxy by Barbra Nightingale

Brown Eyed Cat by Milla Rice

Photograph by Milla Rice

Granny’s Guide to the Galaxy
On nights when Florida pours herself
like molten sky into the darkness,
when breathing feels like drowning
and no one wants to swim though the night
to sit by your side, it might not be
the best idea to drop a hit of acid,
then ask your grandmother
how to clean puke from the wooden floor,
or tell her at length how you and the family cat
have “exchanged consciousness”
and now are both one and the same.
You might not want to tell her you’re “tripping balls,”
that the intensity of color, the liquid brown
of the cat’s eyes, the feel of the fur
beneath your hands made you want to weep,
though she did clean up the vomit,
make you a cup of chamomile tea,
wrap you in a soft blanket against the chills,
and sing you to sleep, dreaming
of  a time when just the thrill
of unfolding your limbs
into a run, or climbing to the top of a tree
was as high as you needed to be.
Barbra Nightingale’s poems have appeared in numerous poetry journals and anthologies, including Rattle, The Florida Review, Barrow Street, Sacramento Poetry Review, Kalliope, Southern Women’s Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The Mississipi Review, InterlitQ, The Eloquent Atheist, Many Mountains Moving, Narrative Magazine, City of Big Shoulders, The Liberal Media Made Me Do It, Sonnets Out of Sequence, and Tigertail: An Annual.  Alphalexia, her newest book just came out with Finishing Line Press (2017). Two Voices, One Past was a Runner Up in the 2010 Yellow Jacket Press Chapbook Award, and was published in September, 2010.  Geometry of Dreams (2009) a full-length collection of poetry was published in 2009 by Word Tech Press, Ohio.  She has six other collections of poetry, and a yet unpublished memoir, Husbands and Other Strangers.  She’s an Associate Editor with the South Florida Poetry Review, and a professor Emeritus from Broward College, and an advisor Emeritus with Phi Theta Kappa.  

Milla Rice is a photographer. You can visit here at :

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