Yvette Johnson's poems can be found at the DMQ Review and
Glitter Pony. Forthcoming in Chaparral.


Nevertheless, the parties are symbols. They were scenery. People laid around hand in hand. He bends his cheek in toward your face and you kiss him. The look of an imp. The tender feeling of smiling. How your eyes are glass when you kiss. Or a deeper shade of togetherness when your eyes are closed. When the kiss is like a surrender to slowing down. Decoding your kiss. Another hour and you have fallen for my prism. An hour like symphony. Like melting. A ring in my temples of the way you are seated in my lap and we sing. How breath dictates how deep you sound. The breath is but a series of cages you climb through. An oblong bell clanging on a brass platter. Etchings on it of the words: Forgive me now.

Looking around to see the faces break. The smiles are a figurine. Together they make up an animal with many hearts. The mask of the heart. How we can share. Some faces collapse. There is an injury of thinking of them. To contemplate what you would rather do. How there is nothing, but causing a wreck. How you can peel out of that space by coming home. Someone is missing you. I miss you. I can look onto the cardboard where there are written several names for losing ground. The box has old tissue paper around pills. The temple of the body is like a song by charioteers as they return through the city gates, chanting. There is a gadget on your arm that beeps with each flutter of your eyes, beaming softly as bees. Another welcoming to the city with garlands of buds that weep.

Magenta corridor. The hallway is lit by your eyes. There is a map on the wall pinned into cork board to the hidden groves where the charming mouse lives. You can climb into the box. To sit there is to gravitate like a star. The choice is yours. The slow build of romance. Tea in the café the morning after. How tea is not strong enough, it lacks the body you crave. But, you are with someone. There are not many ways out. If you settle in the garden over a terracotta basin of fresh azaleas to look at your faces in the water, the many faces you wear in the morning as you piece together your thoughts, you can wash out winter from your coat and watch it shrink. Soak the socks. Play like there is a rocket in your bed. Then, go to sleep as if everything is normal. Tell yourself, this is your secret.

The park is the gathering of all the grass in the world. It is their convention. The blades of grass whisper thanksgiving for the rain. When you peel back layers to ask the liquid questions, will you be alone? Can you answer your own questions of the world? The boulevard is awake with its morning color values. The automobiles slush through puddles of autumn rain. How the light lifts to the top of the water and glows. The shift from night to day. The blur of sensations that cover you like an eyelid. You can be draped by it, you can do it. The light off the night comes in to bless you so that you are lit from within. People can see you now. The night invests in you. Winter is a broken plate on the white rug in the parlor, a sign.

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