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Poet of the Week: Brandon D. Johnson

Brandon Johnson
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amused

I turn corners hoping to smack into you.
I wait in subways for your escalator-hum sashay.
I save a seat in stadiums yearning
your long fingered caress

when we sit amidst large crowds, the clatter
is a shield around our whispers
as if you and I are alone
the only figures of interest co-habiting
an impressionist’s mottled mayhem.

as ifsee…you do this to me: these moments
where I’m a minister marrying word to image
where weary lexes rustled from slumber
become the cast of thousands
for a picture’s worth.

I’m afraid to recite your names, afraid to reveal
a secret identity, force you to hide where
I might see you only out the corner of my eye.
because of our time-to-time kisses, in anger
you’d fix me, banish what I can’t recall
to surf the tip of my tongue forever.

sometimes I fear I’ll invoke the wrong spell
and you’ll move to the neighborhood in my brain
where I’ve been barred
where, if I knocked, you’d hide behind the door
as if I were selling cosmetics
or cosmology.

so I say things that won’t offend
to define you, share only the most public
details with my friends, savor
our moments together like a deep
sweet mug of tea.

I rest my lips on your hem. words high dive
off my shoulder, make small splashes on the page
while you and I lie as old lovers do, amused
we can still break the surface, leave a bead of blood
behind.

 

Appears in the book Love’s Skin published by Word Works. All rights to the poem retained by the author upon publication of the book in 2006.

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