by Kerri French

This year, you will buy too many shoes and go into debt.
Be cautious in parking lots. Don’t panic when the house floods.
Do charge a plane ticket to Italy the night you drive home

from one too many poetry readings in tears. You can ask
the Irish boy you met in England to meet you, if you like—
but I’m telling you now, he won’t ever come. Dear Aquarius,

I am so sorry to report this. Your childhood cat already
has a brain tumor, and it is only a matter of months
before you find him running circles around the bedroom.

In the fall, the new moon will usher in change. Take a trip
to New Mexico and do nothing but eat avocado and sleep in.
Don’t be afraid to cut your hair the shortest it has ever been.

Remain optimistic above all else. Hang maps across the walls
and circle places you have yet to see. Beware a lonely coworker
who will follow you home each night, phone relentlessly when

you are out with friends. Be prepared: repairs to the house
may take months. Name a new kitten after your favorite poet.
The death of a friend’s father will inspire a move home.

As the New Year approaches, you will fight with a lover
and later drink too much at a party. Best wishes to you, Aquarius!
Anticipate falling into a tangle of branches on the walk alone.


Kerri French’s poetry has been featured on SIRIUS Satellite Radio and has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, the American Poetry Journal, Sou’wester, the Southeast Review, The Pinch, Barrelhouse,DIAGRAM, and Best New Poets 2008, among others. A North Carolina native, she currently lives in Cambridge, England.