Luke Johnson

I’ll talk sadness, sure,

after Brandon Melendez

but not about my sister
alone in a closet
with a mouse & book
of matches. So, here
is a pick & pane of ice
to stab until the pond spills.
Here is daddy’s cane
frayed from blunt force
& its serpentine slap.
Here is the cat kicked
crooked for clawing
mother’s wrist. A Remi.
Brass knuckles. Silk
blouse sequined by moths.
Here is a fence post
snapped to a spear.
A rope. Sticky needle.
A tulip chewed into pulp.
And laughter, as if it
were lodged in a drain,
drowned, knotted with hair.

Luke Johnson lives on the California Coast with his wife and three kids. His poems can be found or forthcoming at Kenyon Review, Narrative Magazine, Florida Review, Valparaiso Review, Nimrod, Thrush, Tinderbox, Greensboro Review and elsewhere. He was a Finalist for the Pablo Neruda and Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Awards, and his chapbook, :boys, was released by Blue Horse Press in 2019. 

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