Poet of the Week: Brandon D. Johnson

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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 if- see…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


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

Brandon D. Johnson’s Poets Tour Profile