“Girl, I can see you from a disss…tance… Baby. I’d get run over by a car for you.” -A man across the street (Akron, Ohio)
I’m the girl with rocks in her ballet flats. It doesn’t matter what city I move to.
I walk. Men shout. Rocks in my shoes.
The mattress store in my neighborhood says CASH TALKS LOUD. I’m startled when a plastic bag behind me rustles in the wind. I’m floating through cities. Internally groaning at English professors who have bands, but I smile politely because they seem so gentle. They make stray cats look like robbers. When I see a stray cat, I cross the street.
Somewhere between the moving pianos, I could swear that I, myself, was Eleanor Powell. In Wisconsin, when you call for a cab, it often arrives in the form of a minivan, the vehicle ideal for transporting large groups of college football fans. The van will toss you around, and on your way to the doctor, you’ll realize you’re far from grounded. There are floating pianos, but no scratchy taps and certainly no lady-worn suits.
Repercussions of Glitter
I can’t say I’m surprised. A part of me always knew I’d end up flat on my back in a muddy forest, clad only in Oksana Bauil’s pink, fuzzy skating costume from the 1994 Olympics. Didn’t you know? I missed my call time at the theater. The dressing room, the make-up, even the wings told me to get lost. I spit on a piece of lighting equipment and clicked off. Imagine my surprise, ending up at Super Walmart, breaking kitchen appliances. Snap snap like my injured body. I could taste the thuds, candy-sweet and metallic. Like malt powder that’s also dirt.
Your Penis Hearts Me
Your penis talks to me when you’re asleep. It’s really an old school romantic. Love sonnets and shit. It’s sweet, but pretty weird. Like when we’re on the interstate and you’re driving with one hand and holding my hand with the other. You look at me with this dopey smile, like someone who’s swallowed a handful of codeine, and say nothing.
-- Meg Johnson’s poems have appeared in Slipstream Magazine, Word Riot, WTF PWM, Blood Lotus, Camroc Press Review, and others. Her poem “Free Samples” was nominated for Best of the Net. She is currently a poetry student in the NEOMFA Program, a teaching assistant at the University of Akron, and the poetry editor for Rubbertop Review. Prior to this, Meg worked for many years as a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, and actress.