We sink our shanks into sand. The water takes us, rubs our porcelain eyes smooth like a satire.
Low on air, the ride home, tires straining under the weight of babies, a mother’s body, a father’s.
Who am I fooling? It was only me in the car driving with a friend, a father too, an existentialist.
The story I told was choppy. Let me start again. Wish that I may be brief. There is little to say.
On a bridge of land leaning out into the ocean I unraveled my genome. Every animal in relation to me flew.
Now I am going home. The shame in my belly is mine. I am this light amygdule. Remember that, you?
Now I am cutting tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. Telling my husband all the turns I took to get to him.
Wide around the hardest curves at night, high beams crinkled in thick fog. Desperate knuckles on the steering wheel.
He says he knew I was coming. He listened in the twilight with his cricket song.
waits at the door
In earnest, Lightening sat on my shoulders, a man so wide we couldn’t step through the door together.
I let my shoulders flutter, beating my wings without reprieve. And then I could carry him, the shimmering man.
The beginning. No rank or order. My position to extend an invitation to the other. Really, I was lonely.
Turning in on myself, in to the jungles dank and humming with jewels of dew. All darkness serine and complete.
My portion of tenderness, raw and uncut like a heart rutting in the complex lineage of tissues. I created all things. Deer. Rain.
Complex synergy. Every day I waded through the cosmic clutter, joint compounds in jars, goop for holding the planetary bodies together
But now at the door, the electric man on my shoulders. He is a child and I am wise. I am the mother of all things. Peaches and peace.
Tonight I shirk my duty, asking the man to get down. I need some steam to lift my feathers where they’ve been pressed like a hem.
Lightening gets down now. He lathers into the door knob and waits in the shiny appearance of brass.
-- Stephanie N. Johnson’s first book of poems, Kinesthesia, was published in 2010 by New Rivers Press. Her writing is inspired by the multitude of ways that humans commune/communicate with the natural world. Stephanie’s poems have appeared in AGNI, Borderlands, BPJ, Dislocate, Massachusetts Review and elsewhere. Stephanie currently lives in northern New Mexico with her husband and two daughters.