DANIELLE JOHNSON


Danielle Johnson is an MFA candidate in poetry at Georgia College
and State University (USA). In a past life, she created the Writers Under
Thirty program with Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters. In the
present, she is the poetry editor of Goat's Milk Magazine.






Communion in Ordinary Time

we broke bread by crushing
cicada husks between our fingers.
Our last moments withering in their
unlikelihood. I always thought I'd
see you in some gallery curated
by friends, but time is hungry. So
it had to be here. Had to be
your shadow falling over me
as an 8am sun rose
through a side window.

sit down—

tell me about your ribs now. You've
said it before, but tell the
story of my rib donor. I know,
I came from somewhere in a
belly. That's why communion
is important. That's how you
make confession look easy. When
you leave, the sun slices mid-day
across your back.






it all happens

in her home. Five
rooms laid out
like sand on a
beach.

when she puts her
face to the floor,
the house is eternal.

there are rats at night.
in the morning, a little
carcass lies at her feet.

*****

in her office.
the doorway a
ribcage. he crosses
his arms. runs a
finger gently over
the door jam.

he laughs a cool
burst in her throat.
the door always
slams like a cell.

*****

in her bed. street light
bends over his legs
as he wraps the sheet
around his waist,
lolls his head.

I'm Jesus, get it?
but funny.
she never gets it.
he always leaves.

she puts the sheet
in the laundry chute
and listens as the rats
make its body their home.






Chicago, 2013
For Seth Adams

behind my house
a swimming pool,
kids outside, always
learning to swim,
the hot pool boy
always teaching them.

one night, I had a dream
the pool started shrinking
& I climbed in its wet
slit in the earth.

when I woke
I found our old
conversations.
I remember how you shook
walking me home.

I have never
apologized for
that phone call
a few years ago, sitting
outside my town home
in the dark.

but now, I think I understand
it. you winced
admitting the bone-close &
I hid from hearing it.

being slow to speak is healing,
& I am kicking myself for just learning this now.



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